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Friday, July 19, 2024

Captain Ian Finley to Receive IMO International Maritime Prize

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 10, 2024

Captain Ian Finley courtesy of IMO

Captain Ian Finley courtesy of IMO

Captain Ian Finley, Permanent Representative of the Cook Islands to IMO, has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2023. The decision was made by the IMO Council at its 132nd session (July 8 to 12, 2024).

Captain Finley was nominated for the award by the Government of the Cook Islands. As a delegate to IMO, representing Panama and latterly the Cook Islands, he has been an active participant in the development of virtually all safety, environmental and legal legislation adopted by the Organization since 1995.

In its statement supporting his nomination for the prize, the Government of the Cook Islands cited Captain Finley’s longstanding work as a delegate to IMO for more than three decades. He is “a stalwart of diplomatic conferences, always striving for consensus and, when necessary, helping to facilitate the compromises required.”

He is an ex-mariner with “an understanding of and empathy for the challenges that continue to be faced by seafarers and the obligations of all to ensure their training, safety and wellbeing.” He has championed the cause of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), promoting enhanced technical cooperation and capacity building.

Captain Ian Finley, a Master Mariner, first sailed from the Port of Liverpool, United Kingdom in 1961 as a Midshipman with Alfred Holts, the Blue Funnel Line. In 1966, he transferred to the Athel Line and the fledgling chemical/parcel tanker industry rising to the rank of Captain. He came ashore in 1982, to work in ship operations, moving into chartering and thence senior management. In 1987, he was a founder member of the International Parcel Tankers Association.

Captain Finley was advisor to the delegation of Panama since the early 1990s and was later appointed Head of Delegation for Panama, stepping down in 2006. He was then engaged to navigate the Cook Islands to membership of IMO (it became a Member State in 2008). Captain Finley was subsequently appointed as the Cook Islands Ambassador and Permanent Representative to IMO, a role he has held with distinction and through which he has championed the cause of the SIDS, promoting enhanced technical cooperation and capacity building and encouraging their engagement in the Organization’s safety and environmental technical committees.  

He has been Permanent Representative to the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC) and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).  

Captain Finley has served as a Governor of the World Maritime University (WMU) since 2016 and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of WMU in 2023. In 2023, Captain Finley was honored by the United States Coast Guard as a recipient of their highest public recognition, the Distinguished Public Service Award.

The International Maritime Prize is awarded annually by IMO to the individual or organization judged to have made a significant contribution to the work and objectives of the Organization. The Prize is marked by the presentation to the winner of a dolphin sculpture and includes a financial award, upon submission of an academic paper written on a subject relevant to IMO.

The Prize will be presented to Captain Ian Finley at an awards ceremony to be held later in 2024.