Report on Council 116, 4-7 July 2016
The IMO Council is the management committee for all matters concerning the running of IMO.
Agenda 2 Deputy Chairman
Mr. ZHANG Xiaojie, from China, was elected as deputy Chairman of Council.
Agenda 4 Future Work of IMO
Much time was taken discussing this topic which is very important to the future of IMO work. There was a long discussion on the development of a new IMO Strategic Framework and the results of the Working Group held the previous week.
The Secretary General advised Council that, in order to cultivate and nurture the culture of ethics, integrity and accountability and thereby enhance the trust in and the credibility of the Organization, a Code of Ethics for the International Maritime Organization has been developed and introduced at IMO with effect from 21 April 2016. The IMO Code of Ethics is based on the United Nations Ethics Committee's model Code of Ethics text, and sets out the core values and principles IMO personnel, as international civil servants, should attain and adhere to in the course of their duties. The IMO Code of Ethics has been published on the IMO public website home page at: http://tinyurl.com/jgooxp7 Gender equality will continue to be pursued in the organization.
Agenda 5(b) Financial Audit for 2015
It was reported that Somalia has not paid – Council expressed sympathy for their situation but did not grant a waiver. They have therefore lost the right to vote, however, then can apply for a waiver together with a payment plan, it was noted a similar request was made to, and granted by, the UN.
Agenda 6 Voluntary Audit Scheme
During the voluntary phase of the audit scheme, a total of 75 audits have been conducted by IMO, which included 67 Member States, two Associate Members, five dependent territories and a second audit of a Member State. Nine of these audits were conducted pursuant to operative paragraph 1 of resolution A.1068(28) on the Transition from the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme. The last of these audits was conducted in October 2015, marking the end of voluntary audits.
Agenda 7 – Weighing of Containers.
ICS reported only 1% of containers over first weekend had VGM certification.
Agenda 9 - Report of Legal Committee
Fair Treatment of Seafarers. The Committee further analysed the outcome of the survey commissioned by International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations (IFSMA), and conducted by Seafarers' Rights International (SRI), concerning the implementation of the 2006 Guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident.
The Committee concluded that the different approaches in the implementation of the Guidelines could be streamlined through the development of a guidance and therefore decided that the workshop proposed by ITF would be useful to provide assistance to Member States to give effect to the Guidelines in a uniform and consistent way. The Committee further invited Member States to continue to comply with the Guidelines (LEG 103/14, paragraph 5.7).
India made a statement the on welfare of seafarers related to piracy incidents. Length of seafarers contracts are typically 4-6 months and may expire during capture by pirates. Such contracts should be deemed to remain valid until the crew are released. India said they will prepare a detailed paper on this subject for submission to the next Legal Committee.
Agenda 10 – Report of MEPC
Following problems from one NGO during MEPC, there was a discussion on the restrictions placed on NGOs, as well as others, regarding media and reporting. It was agreed that a circular would be issued to remind of the restrictions.
Agenda 11 Report on WMU
President of WMU, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, introduced the WMU Annual Report. She said they are broadening thier scope to include ocean matters. They are establishing new Master of Philosophy degree. The Chancellor thanked those members and organisations providing funding.
Agenda 12 - Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships.
Members gave details of their effort to eliminate Piracy in their areas.
Agenda 15(d) New NGOs
Since the 114th session of the Council in June 2015, four new applications for consultative status have been received from the following organizations:
- The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF). Not Accepted
- The International Sailing Schools Association (ISSA). Not Accepted
- The International Cruise Victims Association (ICV). Not Accepted
- The Methanol Institute (MI). Not Accepted
Agenda 15 (e) Theme for World Maritime Day 2017. “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”.
The Council recalled that, at its 112th session, it accepted the offer made by the Government of Turkey to host the parallel event in the current year, 2016. It is to take place in Istanbul from 4 to 6 November and the Circular Letter of invitation would be issued shortly. The Council encouraged the participation amongst the delegations and wished Turkey all the best for the preparation and execution of the event.
On Thursday, 29 September, at the IMO Headquarters, there would be a forum for the promotion of the theme "Shipping: indispensable to the world", followed by the traditional diplomatic reception to celebrate the Day.
The Council noted that 2018 would mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the IMO Convention, the 60th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention and the 100th session of the Maritime Safety Committee. Therefore, in recognition of IMO's significant contribution to maritime history and heritage, the Council further noted that the Secretariat had begun planning several events to mark these anniversaries throughout 2018 and information in this regard would be provided at future sessions of the Council.
15(f) International Maritime Prize
The Council unanimously decided to award the International Maritime Prize for 2015 to Dr. Frank Lawrence Wiswall Junior, in recognition of his invaluable contribution, extending over many years, to the work of the Organization in particular, and his long-standing support to the IMO International Maritime Law Institute as lecturer and as member of its Governing Board. The Council extended its warm congratulations to Dr. Wiswall and expressed its appreciation to the Comité Maritime International for nominating such an outstanding candidate.
15(g) Add.1 Indian Captain nominated.
Council decided that Captain Radhika Menon, Master of the M/T Sampurna Swarajya, nominated by India, as the recipient of the 2016 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. The ceremony would take place on Monday 21 November 2016 at the end of first day of MSC97.
Agenda 15(h) Day of the Seafarer
It was reported that 96m people received the IMO Seafarer Tweet, with 12,000 taking the seafaring knowledge quiz. The IMO Secretary General was present in Manila, Philippines where over 1,000 seafarers and family members attended the special event.
Agenda 15(i) IMO Maritime Ambassador Scheme.
The Council expressed its appreciation to all those involved in this Scheme that made it a success, and encouraged Member States and organizations in consultative status, who have not yet done so, to consider appointing an IMO Maritime Ambassador. IFSMA has 5 ambassadors at present with two more in the pipeline.
Agenda 17 Implementation of IMO Instruments
Report from IMSO. It was pointed out that the 2008 amendments implemented the LRIT functions within IMSO, they have not yet been ratified in IMSO and encourage IMSO members, most of whom are IMO Members, to ratify the 2008 protocol as soon as possible.
Report on Ballast Water Convention implementation – This depends of the tonnage of ratifying Member States, 35% of total tonnage required. IMO procedures, Secretariat rely on IHS Maritime & Trade to calculate the tonnage. Agreed that a recalculation of tonnage of all ratifying members will be carried out on receipt of a new ratification.