The Assembly was the largest-ever gathering at IMO Headquarters in London, attended by some 1,400 participants, including 56 at the ministerial level, from 165 Member States, as well as observers from inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations.
The Assembly adopted its strategic plan for 2018-2023, including a revised mission statement, a vision statement (included for the first time) and seven newly-identified strategic directions for IMO, placing the Organization firmly on route to supporting the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The strategic directions are:
Improve implementation – ensuring regulations are effectively, efficiently and consistently implemented and enforced.
Integrate new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework - balancing the benefits derived from new and advancing technologies against safety and security concerns, the impact on the environment and on international trade facilitation, the potential costs to the industry, and their impact on personnel, both on board and ashore.
Respond to climate change - developing appropriate, ambitious and realistic solutions to minimize shipping's contribution to air pollution and its impact on climate change.
Engage in ocean governance – engaging in the processes and mechanisms by which the use of the oceans and their resources are regulated and controlled.
Enhance global facilitation and security of international trade - addressing things like arrival and departure formalities, documentation and certification, and generally reducing the administrative burdens that surround ship operation.
Ensure regulatory effectiveness - improving the actual process of developing regulations, to make them more effective; gathering more data, and being better and smarter at using it to make decisions; getting better feedback from Member States and the industry and improving the way IMO learns from experience and feeds those lessons back into the regulatory process.
Ensure organizational effectiveness - increasing the overall effectiveness of IMO, including the Member states, non-governmental organizations, donors, the Secretariat –all the many stakeholders in the Organization as a whole.
Vision statement: “IMO will uphold its leadership role as the global regulator of shipping, promote greater recognition of the sector's importance and enable the advancement of shipping, whilst addressing the challenges of continued developments in technology and world trade; and the need to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
To achieve this, IMO will focus on review, development and implementation of and compliance with IMO instruments in its pursuit to proactively identify, analyse and address emerging issues and support Member States in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”