LONDON, United Kingdom — Jamaica has secured a place on the influential Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) following its successful election at the 30th Session of the IMO's General Assembly held at its headquarters on December 1.
Jamaica secured 120 of the 159 valid votes cast in the highly competitive elections to join 19 other member states that were elected to Category 'C' of the council for the 2018-2020 biennium. Jamaica was also the only country of five to have been elected to the council that were not serving members of Category 'C'.
Minister of Transport and Mining Lester 'Mike' Henry, who led Jamaica's delegation to the Assembly, said Jamaica's election is timely and important to the future of the country, to young people, as well as the Government's overall plans to position Jamaica as an integrated multimodal transport centre for the world.
“The expansion of the Panama Canal has made the transiting of boats in larger numbers across the Jamaican shoreline an important element, and if you are going to become a logistics centre or part of the movement of goods and services, then you have to keep up to date with all the laws and the regulations and be a part of the decision-making bodies that can really impact,” Minister Henry said.
The council is the executive arm of the IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the organisation. Category 'C' comprises 20 states that have special interest in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the council will ensure the representation of all major geographic regions of the world.
Categories 'A' and 'B' comprise 10 states each, with 'A' representing those states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services, and 'B' consisting of states 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.
“It opens up new opportunities for us and is very important to the development of the seafaring industry,” Minister Henry said.