27 Nov 2013
Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu: “Our global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must continue and implementation of EEDI must be progressed”
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has opened the 28th session of the Assembly which will run until 4 December at IMO headquarters.
In his opening address, Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, outlined the achievements of the Organization during the 2012 to 2013 biennium, with a strong emphasis on its work in the environmental field.
Mr Sekimizu emphasised the implementation of the energy efficiency requirements; promotion of technical cooperation and transfer of technology relating to improvement of energy efficiency of ships; the designation of Saba Bank as a new particularly sensitive sea area; the Ballast Water Management Convention implementation plan; and the adoption of six guidelines for the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.
He also outlined the achievements of the Organization during the 2012 to 2013 biennium, stressing the work on passenger ship safety, following the January 2012 Costa Concordia accident; preparation for the introduction of the mandatory IMO audit scheme; the adoption of the Cape Town Agreement to implement fishing vessel safety regulations; work on maritime security and anti-piracy measures; and progress in the preparation of the Polar Code.
Referring efforts to reduce accidents, Mr. Sekimizu said he appreciated progress by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to implement an Accident Zero Campaign, but said the issue of maritime migrants could not be neglected.
“Hundreds of people on board small boats and ships with no safety measures are my concern. On the rescue side, IMO has done a lot. But this field needs further work to improve the system to handle persons rescued at sea,” he said.
The Secretary-General also referred to his objective to eradicate piracy and reduce maritime casualties by half. “On piracy, while we saw good results of our concerted efforts in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, we are concerned about the situation in the Gulf of Guinea. We should make further efforts in this field,” Mr Sekimizu said.