Marine Link
Thursday, July 18, 2024

IMO Technical Cooperation Committee Advances Capacity Development Strategy

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 7, 2024

Source: IMO

Source: IMO

The Technical Cooperation Committee held its 74th session at IMO Headquarters in London from Junw 24 to 28 and made progress on the IMO Capacity-Development Strategy for providing technical support for Member States.  

The Committee approved a new title (IMO Capacity-Development Strategy) and structure for the document. The draft revised comprehensive strategy combines the existing Capacity-Building Decade 2021-2030 Strategy, with both the strategy for the long-term financing of the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) and the Strategy for resource mobilization for IMO's technical cooperation (TC) activities.

The Committee established a correspondence group to further develop the strategy with a view to finalizing the work at the next session of the Committee (TC 75).

E-learning Implementation Plan in development

The Committee also discussed the use of e-learning courses and “blended learning” methodologies as innovative, high-quality and cost-effective ways to develop capacity in IMO Member States.  

The Committee agreed to the continued development of an IMO e-learning Implementation Plan and the need for a holistic approach to prioritizing and selecting the development of e-learning courses.  

A correspondence group was established to further develop the implementation plan and provide advice on the vehicles of adoption/approval. The Correspondence Group will report back to TC 75.  

Moving forward, the Committee decided to discuss all matters related to training and development, including e-learning, under one output. The Committee requested the Secretariat to work on a proposal for the expansion of the existing output on ‘Global maritime training institutions’, to be submitted to TC 75 for approval.  

IMO regional presence expanded

The Committee noted the progress made on the expansion of the IMO Regional Presence Scheme, which aims to ensure grassroots implementation of technical cooperation activities, facilitation of global programs and extension of IMO's reach.

In addition to the four Regional Presence Offices (RPOs) operating in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya and the Philippines, the Committee was updated on key progress made in new RPOs in Trinidad and Tobago, Egypt and Fiji.

In Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the Office of the regional maritime adviser (RMA) for the Caribbean was upgraded to an RPO in July 2023, with recruitment for the regional coordinator ongoing.

The RPO in Alexandria, Egypt for the Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is expected to be inaugurated by the IMO Secretary-General in early 2025.

The RPO in Suva, Fiji for the Pacific Islands is expected to become operational by the end of 2024, following the MoU signed between IMO and Fiji in March 2024.

The Committee encouraged regional-level discussions regarding further expansion of the Regional Presence Scheme in regions that are not currently served by an regional presence office.

The Committee requested the Secretariat to conduct a comprehensive review of the nature of RPOs, including the mandate, resource mobilization and deployment capabilities, and organizational structure, including diversity matters, to ensure they are well-resourced to deliver on the comprehensive IMO Capacity-Development Strategy.

Member States and observers were invited to submit proposals for a pilot project in one of the four RPOs in Africa, for a model IMO Regional Presence Office.

Global maritime training institutions

The Committee received updates from the World Maritime University (WMU), IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMO-IMLI) and other training providers, including International Maritime Safety Security and Environment Academy (IMSSEA) in Genoa, Italy and Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche du Havre (IPER) in Le Havre, France.

WMU reported 286 graduates in 2023, 36% of whom were female. This brought the total number of WMU graduates since the establishment of the University to 6,087 from 170 countries and territories.  

IMLI reported 54 graduates in 2023, 53% of whom were female. This reflects the Institute's long-standing policy that 50% of the places in its Master’s programs are reserved for female candidates. Since the inception of IMLI, 1,039 from 150 States and territories have graduated from the Institute.

Capacity-development for women in maritime

The Committee was updated on the latest activities delivered through IMO's Women in Maritime program, as part of IMO's efforts to enhance gender equality in the maritime sector and advance Sustainable Development Goal 5.

The Committee noted activities delivered through IMO's Women in Maritime Programme over the past year, including supporting capacity-building for women in maritime, support for the IMO Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs), and a range of specific activities implemented by the thematic long-term projects to advance SDG 5.

The International Day for Women in Maritime in 2024 was marked with a conference held under the theme "Safe Horizons: Women Shaping the Future of Maritime Safety".

Technical cooperation related to IMO Member State Audit Scheme  

The Committee noted the progress of the technical cooperation work related to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS). The Scheme provides Member States with an objective assessment of how effectively they are applying relevant IMO treaties.  

As at June 2024, a total of 1,667 individuals, including auditors and maritime administrators from 165 Member States and Associate Members, had been trained through 80 activities under the ITCP, since the program began in 2006. This includes more than 120 professionals who received training since July 2023.

The delegation of the Netherlands pledged a donation of €20,000 in support of the IMSAS global program.  

The Committee noted that the e-learning course "Training course for auditors under the IMO Member State Audit Scheme" had been launched in October 2023 on IMO's e-learning platform. The Committee endorsed the blended learning approach and considered modalities for future development of e-learning in general, including translation into official languages of the Organization.

Technical cooperation 2023 annual report  

The Committee noted the annual report of IMO's technical cooperation activities for the year 2023. These activities, which include the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) as well as thematic long-term projects, aim to support countries in implementing international maritime rules and standards, in accordance with IMO's global mandate.

Implementation rate: Implementation of technical cooperation activities, delivered both in-person and remotely, increased in 2023.  

Over the year, ITCP implementation rate reached 75% (compared to 70% in 2022), with 206 activities delivered out of 276 programmed.

IMO sponsored 176 fellows studying at the World Maritime University (WMU), the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) and other institutions. Another 657 officials attended events focused on developing and harmonizing regional maritime strategies.  

Women's participation rate ranged from 72% for fellowship activities to 21% for training activities and 44% in high-level activities, indicating room for improvement.

Resource mobilization for technical cooperation

The Committee noted that $10.32 million was pledged and contributed by donors since the Committee’s last session (TC 73) to support long-term thematic projects. This brings the overall value of the portfolio of projects (including pledges) to $160.3 million.

Partnership Arrangements

The Committee noted that in 2023, IMO concluded 53 new partnership arrangements. Of these, 50 are financial arrangements totaling some $13,257,872.  

The Committee noted that, as of December 2023, there were 158 current partnerships - an increase from 128 reported at the previous session (TC 73) and 97 reported at TC 72. Of these 158 partnerships, 55 were categorized as one-off financial support; 88 were financial and in-kind support or via IMO Regional Presence offices or other activity/response centers; and 13 were implementing partnership agreements (IPAs).

Financial Contribution to Technical Cooperation

The Committee noted that $13,257,872 was received towards the sustainable financing of the IMO’s technical cooperation during the period 1 January to 31 December 2023.

The Committee welcomed the following pledges announced during TC 74:  

• Denmark pledged 20 million Danish Krone (approximately $3 million) over the coming years to support developing countries through the GHG TC Trust Fund, the voluntary multi-donor trust fund enabling participation from SIDS and LDCs in meetings of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), the Intersessional Working Group on GHG emissions reduction (ISWG-GHG), and Phase II of the IMO GreenVoyage2050 project;  

• Norway pledged an additional one million Norwegian Krone (approximately $95,000) to support IMO technical cooperation projects.