Jamaica was re-elected to serve on the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) at the 31st Session of the IMO’s General Assembly, held at its London headquarters, on November 29.
Jamaica, which was returned for a second successive term, will serve alongside the Bahamas as the two Caribbean countries on the IMO Council for the 2020-2021 biennium.
Minister of Transport and Mining, Robert Montague, who led the country’s delegation to the assembly, said that Jamaica’s performance on the world stage with other maritime powers has yielded positive results.
“It is 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,” he said.
“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 which have similar economic profiles and maritime issues,” Montague added.
The minister, who was leading the delegation for the first time, said that Jamaica’s re-election to Category C of the powerful IMO Council solidifies Jamaica’s place at the heart of the international maritime legislature.
For his part, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Rear Admiral Peter Brady, said that he was very happy with the outcome and indicated that Category C gives a voice to small island developing states (SIDS), in maritime regulatory decision making.
“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,” he said.
Rear Admiral Brady, who was appointed as the Special Envoy to the 174-member IMO, was central to the country’s campaign for re-election.
The IMO Council is the governing body of the IMO and performs almost all functions of the assembly between biennial assembly sessions.
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.
Category ‘C’ comprises 20 states that have special interest in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the council ensure the representation of all major geographic regions of the world.
Categories ‘A’ and ‘B’ are made up of 10 countries each, with ‘A’ representing states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services, and ‘B’ consisting of territories with the largest interest in seaborne trade.
Jamaica’s membership in Category ‘C’ enhances the country’s capacity and that of the region to contribute to major policy decisions, rule-making and the development of standards.
Jamaica has been a member of the IMO since 1976 and was first elected to the council in 2007.