UAE hopeful of winning IMO’s Executive Council membership

The UAE is quite sanguine to grab the seat at the prestigious International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Executive Council as the country enjoys strong support from other member nations, said a senior government official in Dubai on Monday.

“We are very hopeful because we have done our home work. Those who know the history and policies of the UAE will definitely agree with us that we deserve to be in this Executive Council. We have a support from a lot of countries. By the end of the month, we’ll come to know who is with us,” Dr. Abdullah Al Kathiri, director-general of the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Marine, told Khaleej Times on Monday.

As many as 11 other countries are competing with the UAE for IMO’s Executive Council seat.

“While we approach a monumental event in the history of the UAE’s maritime industry, the upcoming voting for the members of the Executive Council of the IMO under which the UAE has been nominated as a Category B member. We await the results with much vigilance and anticipation, and despite the fierce competition from world’s maritime leaders, we are all hopeful of a win,” Al Kathiri said while addressing the two-day 3rd Maritime Academic Conference & Expo (Maracad 2017) which was opened at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Monday.

He said the goal is to make the UAE a leading global hub for navigation and the maritime economy, capable of competing head-to-head with the world’s leading maritime hubs such as Singapore and London and other major maritime destinations.

“GCC countries depend on desalinated water to survive, and if we do not take proactive steps to protect our maritime environment and the safety of our water, then we will have no choice but to be cornered by empty desert and polluted seawater, which under no circumstances we will allow to happen!,” Al Kathiri added.

He also highlighted the technological advancements in the shipping as there are several ongoing talks on unmanned ships and pilotless remotely-controlled vessels as well, with some companies already having produced prototypes of such vessels.

Quoting a Baltic International Maritime Council (BIMCO) Manpower Report, he said the maritime industry will require over 150,000 experts and specialists by 2025.

Seafarer cases not being resolved: IMO

Dubai – Vessel owners are not taking their responsibilities seriously as a result the industry has been able to solve only 3 cases out of 16 involving seafarers, said a senior official of International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

According to Dr. Dorota Lost-Sieminska, head of legal affairs office at IMO, regulations applicable to seafarers and other personnel should be made simpler and clearer because international maritime industry needs universally-applied standards.

She said IMO has structured approach towards human element.

“We deal extensively with severance of ties between the ship owner and seafarer. The Organisation also gets involved to ensure that seafarers are provided their salaries and are repatriated to their homes when ship owner abandons them. IMO, in conjunction with International Labour Organisation, ha created a database since 2005 which contains regular update of vessels that have been abandoned. In 2016, 17 incidents had resulted in affecting 200 seafarers, but only 3 cases were resolved in the beginning of this year,” she said while addressing the Maracad 2017 conference in Dubai on Monday.
Source: Khaleej Times