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IMO sets four-year maritime agenda

Posted on February 7, 2024

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has divided its objectives and priorities for the next four years.

Objectives and priorities include guaranteeing safer, more secure, and environmentally friendly shipping.

Speaking at a press conference at IMO Headquarters in London on 1 February, IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez, outlined four strategic priorities: IMO’s work to regulate international shipping; its support to Member States – particularly Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries; enhancing public awareness and image; and relations with people and stakeholders.

The Secretary-General touched on various challenges and opportunities for the maritime sector.

Dominguez criticised the persistent attacks on international ships in the Red Sea and emphasized the critical need to ensure seafarers’ safety. He continued to advocate for the de-escalation of tensions and the freedom of movement for ships in the area.

Trade volume going through the Suez Canal has fallen by 42 per cent over the last two months, according to estimates by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Secretary-General emphasized the resilience of shipping in the face of global challenges and underlined that the IMO is actively working with countries, industry partners, and the international community to develop solutions.

Dominguez also provided an update on IMO efforts to decarbonise shipping by or around 2050.

A timeframe has been established in accordance with IMO processes:

  • In March 2024, talks will focus on ‘mid-term solutions’ to reduce emissions over the medium term. These proposals include a global marine fuel standard and a pricing system. The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) will review an interim report on the impact of these restrictions on nations during its 81st session.
  • In October 2024, the impact evaluation for MEPC 82 will be completed.
  • Spring 2025: Approval of measures (MEPC 83).
  • Measures will be adopted in Autumn 2025, six months after MEPC 83.

Dominguez said: “As a global industry that is responsible for transporting over 80 per cent of trade around the world, shipping is indispensable. One thing I am very focused on is to make this Organization a more diverse, inclusive and transparent institution.”


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