Lim Optimistic as IMO's 31st Assembly Session Opens

Credit: IMO

By The Maritime Executive 11-26-2019 07:18:24

The Secretary-General of the IMO Kitack Lim has opened the Organization's 31st Assembly session, calling for concrete action to address climate change and other challenges.

"In so many areas, we are now at a crossroads. In the next biennium, IMO will need to deliver tangible and concrete action – to ensure our strategies, plans and roadmaps are achieved. I am confident that, together, we can succeed," Lim said. 

Lim said Member States could be proud of the adoption, in 2018, of the initial IMO strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and progress made by shipping in reducing emissions. "But we must now accelerate progress towards the implementation of the initial strategy, looking at new fuels from renewable and sustainable sources, new methods of propulsion, and new ways of maximizing the efficiency of existing propulsion methods. IMO continues to lead the way, not only in the regulatory work but also with the successful implementation of a portfolio of practical projects."

Lim went on to reiterate the Organization's commitment to fishing vessel safety, to combating marine litter, to incorporating technologies which increase connectivity and efficiency of working practices in maritime transport and to addressing maritime security challenges, including cyber risks, piracy and armed robbery, in a constantly changing world. Safety at sea remains a core activity along with the well-being of over 1.6 million seafarers working on board seagoing ships every day, to deliver goods to people around the world, he said.

"I believe that we all are passionate about the safety of shipping and seafarers as well as seafarer rights, including fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident. We have to recognize the need to keep regulations and guidance up to date, as seafarers have to adapt to the increasing demands, many driven by technology, which have a significant impact on their day-to-day life. I am certain that together, in particular with the cooperation of the maritime industry, we will make further progress."

More than 1,700 delegates from IMO Member States, international governmental and non-governmental organizations have registered to attend the 31st session of the IMO Assembly which runs from November 25 to December 4. The Assembly normally meets once every two years in regular session. It is responsible for approving the work program, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the Organization. It also elects the Organization's 40-Member Council.

Election of Officers

The Assembly elected the following officers: 

Assembly President

H.E. Nomatemba Tambo, High Commissioner of South Africa to the United Kingdom.


1st Vice-President: H.E. Enna Park, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to IMO.

2nd vice-President: H.E. Ivan Romero-Martinez, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Honduras to IMO.