Jamaica to seek re-election to International Maritime Organisation

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb. 5, CMC – Jamaica will be seeking re-election to the Council of the London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The country will be submitting its candidature to the Council’s Category ‘C’ for the 2018-2019-election period. Elections will be held during the 30th Regular Session of the IMO Assembly in London from November 27 to December 8.
Jamaica was elected to the Council during the 2008-2009 biennium and in the four succeeding biennia from 2010-2015.
Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, says the decision to present Jamaica’s candidature to the Council, is based on the belief that the country has much to contribute to the work of the organisation.
He noted that the IMO’s position in taking steps to prevent maritime pollution from ships strongly resonates with Jamaica.
“We attach importance to the protection of the environment. Our pristine beaches are some of the world’s best and serve as one of our main tourist attractions as well as for recreation for our people,” he said.
Holness, in pre-recorded remarks at a recent ceremony to launch Jamaica’s bid to the IMO noted further that “a healthy maritime environment is also important in maintaining the livelihood of our fisher folk and the food security of our nation”.
He acknowledged that given Jamaica’s maritime interests,, it is imperative that the country takes active part in international maritime organisations, which shape the global industry and impact Jamaica’s national and regional aspirations.
Holness said improvements to the working conditions of persons on board ships are also a “high priority” as Jamaica train seafarers for the global shipping industry.
Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, noted that with over 90 per cent of Jamaica’s international trade carried out by seafaring vessels, the country must have a vested interest to ensure that the rules governing activities at sea are reflective of the country’s national circumstances.
“The shipping industry has long been an important feature of the Jamaican economy. With the world’s seventh largest natural harbour, a highly ranked regional trans-shipment hub and an accredited maritime training institution for the training of officers…we support the implementation of internationally accepted regulations to promote these matters,” she said.
Johnson Smith also echoed the Prime Minister’s sentiment that Jamaica has a keen interest in the protection and preservation of the marine environment.
“This protective measure is of vital importance to Jamaica as our marine and coastal areas are crucial to our attaining the level of economic growth envisioned by the Government,” she said.
For his part, Transport Minister Mike Henry, noted that the country’s bid to be elected to Category ‘C’ of the IMO represents a strategic move in order to raise the country’s maritime profile in the governing body.
He said the country is positioning itself to be a viable shipping centre with the potential for attracting more shipping and allied services.
A global standard-setting authority for safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping, the IMO’s main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and implemented.
Jamaica is represented at the organisation by the Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady.

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