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Tuesday, October 16, 2018


This week IMO's Secretary-General, Mr William O'Neil, presented his plans for IMO for the next two years whilst State Diplomats representing the 160 Parties to IMO gathered to approve the last biennium's work of the IMO. In a focused and strong presentation to the Assembly, Mr O'Neil expressed his concern for the shipping industry and the potentially lean times ahead, noting that the IMO should be mindful of this changing context.

In the light of recent world events, Mr O'Neil said that safety and security would be increasingly important during the next two years. The Secretary-General's commitment to security was exemplified by the proposal to develop a Terrorism Resolution during the Assembly meeting. This would not only cover passenger vessels but also other ships which could be at risk.

Before focusing his attention on the forthcoming biennium of IMO work, Mr O'Neil noted the positive contribution that the Organisation continued to make to shipping safety, stating that shipping casualties had dropped from 3 per 1000 ships in 1995 to 1.9 per 1000 ships in 2000. Not only had safety improved but also pollution prevention, with a continuing decrease in oil spill incidents. His brief note on the past concluded with his concern that the troubled commercial circumstances might compromise this positive trend in quality and safety of life at sea.

Mr O'Neil's focus for the future covered such issues as the human element, implementation of existing standards and regulations, the ISM Code, STCW implementation, safety and environmental concerns for passenger and bulk ships, and further considerations for sustainable development.

At the end of the Assembly meeting to be held in two weeks' time, a number of major legislative drafts developed over the past biennium will be approved. In particular are the four International Conventions produced since 1999: the International Conventions on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems for Ships, the Preparedness and Response to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, and the 2000 Protocol to the 1971 CLC Fund Convention.

For further information on the Assembly meeting please

Contact: Tim Wilkins