IMO Secretary General sets new timetable for the maritime sector for the next four years

IMO Secretary General Arsenio Dominguez, speaking at a conference held at IMO headquarters in London, shared the Organization´s plans and areas of focus for the next four years, with the aim of ensuring safer, more secure and environmentally sound shipping.

Specifically, Dominguez, outlined four strategic priorities: IMO´s work to regulate international shipping; its support for Member States, particularly small island developing states and least developed countries; improving public awareness and image; and relations with individuals and stakeholders.

"As a global industry responsible for transporting more than 80% of world trade, shipping is indispensable. One thing I am very focused on is making this Organization more diverse, inclusive and transparent," said the IMO secretary-general.

Security and attacks in the Red Sea

The Secretary General addressed various challenges and opportunities for the maritime sector. In this regard, he highlighted the continuing attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea, condemned the attacks and stressed the paramount importance of protecting the lives of seafarers. In addition, Dominguez also called for reducing tensions and ensuring freedom of navigation for ships in the area.

The volume of trade through the Suez Canal has fallen by 42% in the last two months, according to estimates by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The secretary general underlined the resilience of shipping in the face of global challenges and confirmed that IMO is actively dialoguing with countries, industry partners and the international community to find solutions.

Greenhouse gas emissions

The secretary general presented an update on IMO´s work to decarbonize shipping by 2050 or thereabouts. This makes it the first UN agency and the first sector to define a global strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including mandatory measures to meet the targets.

Along these lines, a timetable has been established, following IMO processes:

  • March 2024 - Advance discussions on "medium-term measures" to support emission reductions, in the medium term. These include a global marine fuel standard and a pricing mechanism. The Marine Environment Protection Committee will consider, at its 81st session (MEPC 81), an interim report on the assessment of the impact these measures will have on countries.
  • October 2024 - Finalization of the impact assessment (MEPC 82)
  • Spring 2025 - Approval of measures (MEPC 83)
  • Fall 2025 - Adoption of measures (6 months after MEPC 83)

Transparency, diversity and inclusion

The secretary general underscored his commitment to fostering a culture of transparency, diversity and inclusiveness in the work of IMO. In December 2023, the Organization piloted live streaming of the final session of the Assembly, the Organization´s highest decision-making body, which includes all 175 Member States. Committee and subcommittee meetings are also open to the media.

Since taking office on January 1, 2024, the secretary general has appointed a gender-balanced senior management team, enhanced multilingualism in IMO processes, and established a policy of participating only in public events or panels where there is gender representation.


News and image obtained: "Mundo Marítimo"




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