Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Jamaica re-elected to powerful Category C of IMO Council

Published:Sunday | December 1, 2019 | 12:37 PM
Transport Minister Robert Montague with a member of the Jamaican delegation at the 31st session of the IMO Assembly held at the IMO headquarters in London.

Jamaica was re-elected to Category C of the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), confirming the island's position at the centre of international maritime legislature.

The re-election, for another two-year term, was held on Friday, November 29, during the 31st session of the IMO Assembly held at the IMO Headquarters in London.

Minister of Transport Robert Montague, who led the Jamaican delegation for the first time, was elated at this achievement, and said: “At the IMO Assembly you are on the world stage with all the maritime powers.  It is indeed remarkable and indicative of the level of respect accorded to Jamaica as a maritime State that our peers have recognised our contribution and re-elected us to serve on this august body.

The council is the governing body of the IMO when the assembly, which normally meets biennially, is not in session.  It approves the work of the various committees, proposes the budget, appoints the secretary general for the assembly’s approval and makes policy recommendations including the IMO’s strategic plan.

Montague added: “Being a member of the IMO Council raises Jamaica’s maritime profile, gives Jamaica a representative voice for all maritime regulatory issues, enabling us to represent our nation, our maritime industry and other Caribbean States, who have similar economic profiles and maritime issues.”

Jamaica has been an active member of the IMO since the establishment of  the Maritime Authority of Jamaica’s (MAJ) and has served in several areas including having the director general of the MAJ, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, serve as the previous chairman of the former IMO’s Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW) sub-committee between 2002 and 2012, now called the Sub Committee on Human Element. The MAJ's deputy director general, Claudia Grant, currently chairs the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III). 

Jamaica was also selected as Lead Partner Country in a number of IMO projects and regularly hosts regional capacity-building activities in collaboration with the IMO.

“We take this responsibility seriously and try to participate in the work of the IMO to ensure that the interests and concerns of Jamaica, the Caribbean countries and SIDS in general, are adequately ventilated at this level,” Rear Admiral Brady said.

Jamaica’s maritime sector plays an important role in the socio-economic development of the country. It has been a member of the IMO since 1976 and was first elected to the council in 2007. Jamaica was re-elected for the terms of 2010-11, 2012-13, 2014-15 and 2017-19