Jamaica secures coveted seat on IMO council

Jamaica has been elected by the Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to its council for the 2008-2009 biennium, in Category C.

Category C represents states which are deemed to have special interest in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the council will ensure representation of all major geographic regions of the world.

Jamaica has been a respected member of the IMO since 1976 and currently chairs the Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) subcommittee. Jamaica's election to the council comes after months of preparation and excellent work by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; and Transport and Works.

The IMO is the specialist agency of the United Nations, charged with developing and promoting common international standards of maritime safety, security and marine environment protection. The IMO has its headquarters in the United Kingdom.

The council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the assembly, for supervising the work of the organisation and ensuring that its strategic goals are met.
Jamaica's election to the prestigious council took place on November 23 at the 25th session of the IMO assembly which was held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, from November 19-30.

To benefit the region

The head of Jamaica's delegation to the 25th session of the assembly, L. Michael Henry, Minister of Transport and Works, applauded Jamaica's election to the council and noted that this could only redound to the benefit of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

The Transport Minister went on to mention that Jamaica's successful bid for a seat on the council "means new and fresh demand on us as we take on a wider area of responsibility as it relates to the whole area of the Caribbean and the importance of protection of the environment."

He gave credit to Jamaica's team at the meeting, which included Rear Admiral Peter Brady, director general of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), and Dr. Alwyn Hayles, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Works.

Rear Admiral Brady, head of maritime administration in Jamaica, was elated that the island nation had secured a seat on the IMO council. He was particularly pleased that Minister Henry was at the meeting. The MAJ director general felt that the minister's presence sent a strong signal that the Government was serious about maritime development.

While acknowledging that Jamaica's election to the council brings new responsibilities, Rear Admiral Peter Brady was also cognisant that it is a great achievement for Jamaica which will enhance the region's capacity to implement port, coastal and flag state obligations, including those obligations peculiar to the region.

Additionally, Jamaica's presence on the council will help to further advance the important work it has been doing in ensuring compliance with IMO requirements and in providing sound representation for the Caribbean.

December 11, 2007


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