The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has signed a partnership agreement with the Commonwealth Secretariat, under which both organisations commit to strengthening the maritime and port sectors in selected developing countries through activities which will promote and facilitate the adoption of sustainable maritime transport systems and practices.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday (29 September) by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC.
Commonwealth countries who are Member States of IMO will benefit from joint capacity-building activities between the two intergovernmental organisations.
Under the agreement, IMO and the Commonwealth Secretariat intend to work together to support:
- knowledge sharing;
- intergovernmental cooperation;
- capacity-building; and
- joint resource mobilization.
Specific activities will be developed to address:
- marine environment protection and climate change;
- maritime safety;
- maritime security;
- maritime legislation; and
- maritime transport facilitation in support of global and regional trade flows.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “IMO is pleased to partner with the Commonwealth Secretariat to boost sustainable maritime transport. The maritime sector binds us all together and this agreement will help us target countries with additional support to ensure that shipping is greener and more resilient, supporting employment and driving forward the blue economy across nations.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC said, “Our ocean drives economic activity, connecting us all and carrying 80% of global trade, by volume, through maritime transport. The provision of safe, secure shipping on cleaner seas has never been of greater importance than it is now. The Commonwealth covers more than a third of the ocean under national jurisdiction, so we are excited to join hands with the IMO to advance the prospects for a sustainable global blue economy.”
IMO is the United Nations maritime agency which sets global standards for safe, secure, efficient and environment-friendly international shipping. The Commonwealth Secretariat is the intergovernmental organisation which co-ordinates and carries out much of the Commonwealth’s work to promote good governance, multilateral cooperation and sustainable development. This includes implementing the Commonwealth Blue Charter, an agreement by all 56 member countries to actively cooperate to solve ocean-related challenges.
The MoU was signed at IMO headquarters in London, United Kingdom, during the IMO-UNEP-Norway Innovation Forum 2022. The Innovation Forum is a two-day hybrid global platform aimed at championing innovation to accelerate the transition of the marine sector towards a zero- and low-emission future. The Forum is linked to the IMO World Maritime Day theme 2022 “New Technologies for Greener Shipping”, with a special emphasis on inclusive innovation for decarbonization of the maritime sector.