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Saturday, September 22, 2018

The great and good celebrate in Athens 60 years of the IMO

This Friday sees a tremendous gathering of the great and good in Athens to celebrate 60 years of the IMO in the service of shipping at the 2008 World Maritime Day Parallel Event – which is happening as we go to press.

The Chairmen of the Round Table associations (BIMCO, ICS/ISF, Intercargo, INTERTANKO); the Presidents of the Union of Greek Shipowners and of Hellenic Chamber of Shipping; the General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation are all scheduled to speak alongside Greece’s Prime Minister, its Minister of Mercantile Marine, and the Secretary General of the IMO.


INTERTANKO’s Chairman Nick Fistes is highlighting the recent call by the Association, its Round Table partners and the International Transport Workers Federation, calling for real and immediate action against the brazen acts of piracy, kidnapping and armed robbery that are being inflicted with increasing frequency on ships transiting the Gulf of Aden by Somalia-based pirates.


As this situation in the Gulf of Aden starts to spin irretrievably out of control, we need to see more nations ordering to this area naval units which will be authorised and empowered to engage forcefully against any act of piracy or indeed maritime terrorism, and to capture and bring these criminals to justice, making this important maritime trade route safe and secure once again.


Fistes is speaking about the importance of the existence of IMO in the maritime world, focusing on I-o's contribution to the work of the IMO, and how the tanker sector has benefited from its association with the IMO.


- He talks of working together with the IMO to uphold the principle of international regulation for what is the most international of industries, the shipping industry.


- He emphasises how INTERTANKO has over the years worked with the IMO to put up constant opposition to regional or domestic regulation which, if allowed to happen, would only fragment shipping regulation into unworkable splinters.


- He focuses on the work of bringing about a proper balance between regulation and self-regulation, on incentivising technological innovation, and yet also recognising that effective and fair controls have to be put together.


- He concludes that, by gathering from the industry everything that it can in the way of technical expertise and practical experience, the IMO ensures that its meetings have the level of technical competence necessary to bring about good regulation that is not only technically correct but also operationally feasible in practice – thereby achieving not just regulation but workable regulation.


World Maritime Day will be celebrated in London on Thursday September 25th.


Contact: Bill Box