IMO Secretary-General Expresses Sadness at Tanzania Ferry Disaster
The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, has expressed his profound sadness for the loss of life in the sinking of the ro-ro ferry Spice Islander I off the coast of the United Republic of Tanzania on 10 September. “We are shocked at the number of lives lost and have offered any help and technical assistance which may be required,” Mr. Mitropoulos said, adding that IMO was willing to provide assistance in investigating the cause of the accident and…
Six Candidates for Position of IMO Secretary-General
By the deadline of March 31, 2011, six candidates had been nominated by their Governments for the position of Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The election for the post will be held at the 106th session of the 40-Member strong IMO Council, which meets from June 27 to July 1, 2011. The decision of the Council will be submitted to the IMO Assembly, which meets for its 27th session from 21 to 30 November 2011, for its approval. The nominations received are listed below in alphabetical order by candidates’ name. Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr. The present incumbent, Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, ends his second four-year term as Secretary-General on December 31, 2011.
Launch of Seafarers’ Rights Center
IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos welcomed the launch of the Seafarers’ Rights International Centre, an independent forum dedicated to advancing seafarers’ interests, describing it as an important development on World Maritime Day, the theme of which is “2010: Year of the Seafarer”. The new Centre will be located at the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)’s London offices, with initial funding coming from the ITF’s Seafarers’ Trust. An international Advisory Board, currently 10-strong, has already been established and the Centre’s stakeholders will include seafarers, lawyers and other advisers, non-governmental organizations…
At SMM 2010 ‘Green’ Technologies Center Stage
Last month MR’s Henrik Segercrantz traveled to Hamburg for an exclusive preview of the SMM 2010 exhibition. The SMM international trade fair for shipbuilding, machinery and marine technology will take place in Hamburg, Germany, on 7-10 September. This year much focus will be on environment-friendly technologies and products. The supporting program for SMM 2010 will for the first time this year include the Global Maritime Environmental Congress (gmec), and the Offshore Dialogue, which will also look into maritime technologies for offshore mining and wind farms.
Mitropoulos Presides, Arab Academy Expansion
"I could not think of a better way to formally start the ‘Year of the Seafarer’ other than by commissioning a new training centre, such as the new branch of the Arab Academy in Port Said,” said IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos on Saturday, 9 January, as he formally opened an extension to the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT). The extension is on a new 77-acre site allocated for that purpose by the Governor of Port Said, who also officiated during the ceremony together with other senior officials of Egypt and Dr. Mohamed Farghaly, Director General of the AASTMT since October 2007. This latest expansion of the Academy comes within the context of significant development in the City of Port Said…
Mitropoulos Says IMO is Ready to Act
IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos has reminded delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15) of the importance of regulating the shipping industry through a competent, international body that can establish the appropriate global standards. Addressing two events in the context of the Conference, Mitropoulos stressed that international shipping requires global regulations if it is to function as the principal vehicle for the movement of global trade. As a global industry requiring global standards, he said, its regulation should, without exception, be the responsibility of an international body dealing exclusively with maritime matters…
Hijacked Tanker Potential Environmental Disaster
IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos expressed concern that adverse weather conditions and other contributing factors may bring about an accident to the supertanker Maran Centaurus – hijacked by pirates on 29 November 2009 with a cargo of 2 million barrels of crude oil – possibly resulting in an environmental catastrophe off the coast of Somalia, where the vessel is currently being held. The vessel, with a 28-member crew, was some 800 miles from the Seychelles Islands when it was hijacked and then taken to an area off the port of Hobyo in Somalia. Weather conditions are said to be changing for the worse in the area which, coupled with reported unsafe anchorage conditions…
Climate Change: a Challenge for IMO Too
September 24 2009 marks the 32nd celebration of World Maritime Day, the annual occasion when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) leads the world in highlighting a key issue for the Organization and the shipping industry. This year, the theme for World Maritime Day is Climate Change: a challenge for IMO too! In his World Maritime Day message to the international maritime community, IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos said that now was the time to make tough decisions to address climate change, and to act with total and undivided commitment. "At IMO, we are heavily and consistently engaged in the fight to protect and preserve our environment - both marine and atmospheric.
2010: The "Year of the Seafarer"
In its recent 102 session in London, The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed that next year's theme for World Maritime Day will be "2010: Year of the Seafarer," proposed by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos. The theme - to be celebrated throughout the year and at a World Maritime Day parallel event in Argentina - was selected to give IMO and the international maritime community the opportunity to pay tribute to the world's seafarers. "The…hazards confronting the 1.5 million seafarers of the world - including pirate attacks, unwarranted detention and abandonment - coupled with the predicted looming shortage of ships' officers…
New Int’l Convention for Ship Recycling
A new international Convention on ship recycling has been adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment. The Convention was adopted at a diplomatic conference held in Hong Kong, China, from 11 to 15 May 2009, attended by delegates from 63 countries. The new Convention was developed by IMO, the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution from ships.
Hong Kong, Int’l Conference on Ship Recycling
A Diplomatic Conference to adopt an international convention on the recycling of ships was opened in Hong Kong, China, by the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, on Monday, 11 May 2009. The convention, the first ever to address ship recycling issues, is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment. In his opening remarks, Mitropoulos paid tribute to the contribution to the work of IMO made by Asia - “a region the leadership role of which in shipbuilding, shipowning, ship manning and ship recycling is recognized and duly appreciated worldwide”.
IMO Briefing: Africa SAR Coverage Extended
Further key links in the plan to provide effective search and rescue (SAR) coverage off the coast of Africa have been established, with the commissioning of two search and rescue sub-centres that will operate in conjunction with the existing regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Mombasa, Kenya. The two sub-centres, in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania and Victoria, Seychelles, were commissioned on 25 and 27 March, respectively, by the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, and the Transport Ministers of the respective countries. The inauguration of the…
People’s Republic of Korea Launches Satellite
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been officially advised by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of its intention to proceed with the launch of an experimental communications satellite. In a letter sent to IMO on 11 March 2009, the Maritime Administration of the DPRK said that the launch would take place between 4 and 8 April 2009, between the hours of 0200 and 0700 (UTC). The letter also identified the coordinates of two potential “dangerous areas”, in the Sea of Japan and the Northern Pacific Ocean, which ships should avoid during those times. The submission of such information to the Organization follows IMO Assembly resolution A.706(17) and related Maritime Safety Committee circulars…
Mitropoulos Urges Nigeria to Act on Piracy
IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos has urged the Government of Nigeria to intervene to help reduce the incidence of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea and in the waters off the coast of Nigeria. Mr. Mitropoulos took the opportunity of a wide-ranging meeting with Nigeria's new Minister of Transport, Mr. Ibrahim Bio, which took place Feb. 20 at the IMO Headquarters in London, to stress that urgent action was needed to assure the international maritime community of Nigeria's commitment to address the problem on a priority basis. Mr.
Meeting, Contact Group on Piracy
On Feb. 24, The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, opened the first meeting of a Working Group charged with considering modalities for operational coordination and information-sharing, the possible establishment of a regional coordination centre and regional capability development, in the context of on-going efforts by navies to protect international shipping from acts of piracy and armed robbery in the waters off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. Set up by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) - itself established in January 2009 following…
IMO Meeting on Anti-Piracy
A high-level meeting in Djibouti has been convened by IMO to help address the problem of piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The meeting, which was opened Jan. 26 by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos and the Prime Minister of Djibouti, Mr. Dileita Mohamed Dileita, is expected to conclude and adopt, pursuant to a request made by the IMO Assembly in its resolution 1002 of 2007, a regional agreement to assist countries in the region to build capacity to suppress piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The opening session was attended by several Ministers of Transport and Ambassadors of countries in the region…
IMO’s “No Red Tape” Committee
The International Maritime Organization’s Facilitation Committee, the focus for IMO’s work in eliminating unnecessary formalities and “red tape” in international shipping, has opened its first session as a formally institutionalized Committee of the Organization. The Committee now has full standing, reflecting the importance of its work and the issues it addresses, following the entry into force, on 7 December 2008, of the 1991 amendments to the IMO Convention to institutionalize the Committee, which puts it on a par with the Maritime Safety, Marine Environment Protection, Legal and Technical Co-operation Committees. Participation in all Committees is open to all Member States of IMO.
2008 IMO Award to Brazilian Seafarer
The 2008 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea has been presented to a Brazilian seafarer who saved fellow crew members from a dangerous fire on a ship. Mr. Rodolpho Fonseca da Silva Rigueira, of the drill ship Noble Roger Eason, nominated by the Government of Brazil, for his decisive, selfless action to rescue six fellow crew members from a catastrophic fire which burst out on it. The fire originated from an explosion, causing imminent risk to the lives of crew members in the vicinity of the explosion; yet, instead of evacuating the area, he repeatedly faced the fire and very high temperatures to save his colleagues, at severe risk to his own life. Mr. Rigueira was presented with the award by IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E.
IMO Appeal to UN Security Council
IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos has issued a call at the highest level for a coordinated and cohesive response, both internationally and nationally, to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. In a Nov. 20 briefing to the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Mitropoulos told Security Council members about the scope and extent of the problem which, he said, was a matter of grave concern. He also outlined a series of actions the Security Council might consider taking to address the situation. • urge States, with due regard to their obligations under international law, to establish an effective legal jurisdiction to bring alleged offenders to justice. Mr.
IMO Launches the "Go to Sea!" Campaign
A campaign to address the global shortage of seafarers, especially officers, which threatens the very future of the international shipping industry, has been launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in association with the International Labour Organization, the "Round Table" of shipping organizations - BIMCO, ICS/ISF, Intercargo and Intertanko - and the International Transport Workers' Federation. The campaign calls on governments, industry and IMO, supported by ILO and other international organizations, to take specific actions, within their areas of influence, to increase the recruitment of seafarers to tackle the problem.
UN Sec. Gen. Supports Anti-Piracy Extension
IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos wrote to Mr. Ban last month proposing that the mandate be extended. Mr. Ban has now confirmed that he supports the proposal and will be conveying the same to the Security Council, together with the concerns expressed by IMO and international shipping and seafaring organizations.
Round Table Agrees on Somalia Piracy Approach
At the invitation of IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, a meeting took place involving the heads of the four shipping industry bodies known collectively as the Round Table (BIMCO, ICS/ISF, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO), and of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). The meeting aimed at exploring common approaches, additional to measures already taken, to address the increasingly serious incidence of piracy attacks on shipping off the coast of Somalia and, in particular, in the Gulf of Aden – a strategic corridor leading to the Red Sea and to the Suez Canal, which represents a key conduit for almost 12 percent of the world’s crude oil, not to mention other energy, container and general bulk traffic.
World Maritime Day Parallel Celebrations Held in Greece
The fourth "Parallel Event" to celebrate World Maritime Day formally and officially outside of the International Maritime Organization's London base was held in Greece on 19 and 20 September, hosted by the Government of the Hellenic Republic. On 19 September, Athens was the location for a seminar and panel discussion on the theme of IMO: 60 years in the service of shipping, in which leading figures from the maritime community took the opportunity to outline, from their perspective, their views on the past, present and future of IMO and the shipping industry. On 20 September, the International Memorial to the Wife of the Seafarer was unveiled in the town of Galaxidi, by the Secretary-General of IMO, Mr. Efthimios E.