Nippon Foundation Chairman meets Round Table to discuss Malacca Straits

The Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa, and Chairmen and Chief Executives of the four Round Table of international shipping associations (ICS, BIMCO, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO) met this week in London to discuss ways of funding contributions to aids to navigation in the Malacca Straits.


The Nippon Foundation and the Round Table share the opinion that, in order to enjoy sustainable utilisation of the sea, the safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment are both vital issues that must be addressed and assured.


They recognise that it is important to stimulate co-operation between the littoral States, the user States and the users; and that such co-operation should explore, with a view to implementing, mechanisms for voluntary contributions to the appropriate funds under the Co-operative Mechanism, in line with the precepts of corporate social responsibility.


The Round Table thanked the Nippon Foundation for its contributions, over many years, to the littoral States, and its positive commitment to the Aids to Navigation Fund, the establishment of which has already been agreed in Singapore.


The Nippon Foundation thanked the Round Table associations and their members, as major international maritime organizations and major users of the Straits, for the sincere dialogue that has been established between them.


The Chairman of The Nippon Foundation and the Representatives of the Round Table associations agreed to co-operate further on these issues and to continue to encourage other users to support the Aids to Navigation Fund. There was agreement that, in conjunction with other organisations, they will co-operate in holding an international symposium next year to further discuss, at the international level, the requirements for enhancing the safety of navigation and environmental protection in relation to international maritime transportation.


Meanwhile there is a new initiative on this front at another level where a number of INTERTANKO's members in Singapore, focusing on enhancing the safety of member vessels and environmental protection in Southeast Asian waters, have formed a Working Group, which recently met for the first time.

Members trading regularly in Southeast Asia have recognised that there are elements relating to navigational safety and environmental protection which may be enhanced by opening up communications within the membership and between interested parties. Information relating to risk assessments and reporting from vessels which operate in the waters can then be pooled and used as guidance on further enhancements.

With a second formal meeting of the Working Group planned for the early part of 2008, it is hoped that its conclusions can be shared with other interested bodies, with a view to the Group expanding to include local oil companies, non-INTERTANKO members and administrations.

Full details relating to the Working Group will be given following its next meeting in January 2008.


Contact: Peter Swift or Tim Wilkins