Vigorous discussions relating to the Prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL) and the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) dominated discussions during the first two days of deliberations of the meeting of senior Caribbean maritime administrators in Montego Bay, Jamaica this week (February 19 and 20). Other matters discussed included Marine Policy development, Search and Rescue as well as Port State Control.
The Regional Senior Marine Administrators Workshop is being hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ). Mr Koji Sekimizu, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization is a special participant at this meeting.
Representatives from 20 countries are meeting to consider a list of programmes to be submitted to the IMO for support under its International Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP). As a part of the IMO’s ITCP in the Caribbean, Senior Maritime Administrators meet to develop programmes of Technical Cooperation for the biennium to present to the IMO. In the past such programmes have included strengthening of the institutional and legislative framework of fledgling maritime administrations in the region, as well as human capacity building.
Mr. Jianxin Zhu, Director of the Technical Co-operation Division of the IMO, who led the IMO team at the workshop said: “IMO is happy to be a part of this meeting looking at the needs of the Caribbean region in terms of the new Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme for the next biennium. The workshop is useful for the senior administrators in the region to meet and share information and offer assistance to each other and enhance regional capacity building cooperation. The IMO is very supportive of this workshop and will continue to support the Caribbean countries in their bid to discharge their maritime obligations under the various IMO Conventions.”
Resolutions agreed by the Senior Marine Administrators Workshop will be passed on to a High Level Symposium meeting of Ministers of Transport in the Caribbean, drawing delegates from a variety of the region’s States and overseas territories, as well as Jamaica. The IMO Secretary General will address the Ministerial meeting on the subject of the VIMSAS scheme on February 22. Transport, Works and Housing Minister, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies will also address the gathering.