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IMO Secretary General to Visit Jamaica
Secretary General of the UN’s International Maritime Organization, Koji Sekimizu, will lead a delegation of IMO representatives to Jamaica at the end of this month. Sekimizu assumed the position of the 170-member state Organization on January 1, 2012 and this is his first visit to the Caribbean.
The four-day visit, hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, will culminate in a high-level symposium of the ministers of transport in the Caribbean, drawing delegates from a variety of the region’s states and overseas territories, as well as Jamaica. The symposium is intended to inform the responsible ministers in the region on critical developments that will affect their countries’ reputations as responsible maritime states. Sekimizu will address the group on “The Institutionalization of the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme.”
The VIMSAS scheme was instituted by the IMO to ensure states are giving full and complete effect to the provisions of its major conventions and will become mandatory in 2015. Jamaica has already been successfully audited under VIMSAS in September 2011 as part of its drive to discharge responsibly its flag, port and coastal state obligations.
Prior to the symposium, the MAJ will host a seminar for senior maritime administrators, as part of the IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Program (ITCP) in the Caribbean. The Caribbean region, including Jamaica, has benefited greatly from the assistance of the IMO through its ITCP, which provides assistance to countries that may have difficulties giving full and complete effect to the IMO’s instruments and aims to build human, institutional and legal capacities.
This is only the second time in approximately 25 years that a Secretary General of the IMO has visited Jamaica, which is a long-standing member of the IMO since 1976 and a member of the IMO Council, Category C having been elected 2009 and in 2011. The IMO Council is the governing body of the Organization when its Assembly, which meets once every two years, is not in session.