Jamaica has officially launched its candidature to Category C of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for the 2022-2023 biennium.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, at the virtual launch on April 15.
Mr. Holness said that in placing the government’s stamp of approval on the bid, the country “is underscoring the importance that we as a nation attach to our maritime sector”.
The IMO Council has 40 members. Included are Category A, comprising 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services; Category B, which has 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade; and Category C, with 20 States not elected under A or B, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.
“Jamaica has been an active member of the IMO Council since 2007 and our decision to present our candidature for the 2022-2023 period is based on the firm belief that we can continue to contribute to the work of the organisation,” he emphasised.
The Prime Minister said that Jamaica continues to have faith in the value of multilateralism and the importance of strengthening global institutions.
“Every State has a role to play in confronting the challenges we face as a global community. This is what continues to inspire Jamaica to engage in and contribute to the multilateral process and, in particular, the work of the International Maritime Organization,” he pointed out.
The Prime Minister stressed the important role that the country plays as an internationally respected maritime State.
“Our leadership as a maritime nation has also been globally endorsed with the negotiation and the ultimate signing of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in Montego Bay in 1982, and the subsequent establishment and hosting of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in Kingston,” he noted.
The Prime Minister said that as a small island State, Jamaica has progressively built up over the years a highly developed maritime infrastructure comprising container, cruise and bulk cargo ports, maritime administration and ship registration, as well as the training of seafarers and shipping personnel.
Mr. Holness emphasised that for Jamaica and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), healthy, productive and resilient oceans and seas are critical to their economic sustainability.
He added that the IMO targeted actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050 strongly resonate with Jamaica.
“My own engagement and active participation as a member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, established by Norway’s Prime Minister, is also evidence of Jamaica’s commitment to ocean management in a manner that balances protection, production and prosperity to ensure sustainability for future generations,” he said.
The Prime Minister assured that Jamaica will continue to offer leadership, commitment and strategic focus as an IMO Council member.
“It is of utmost importance that maritime concerns of particular importance to the Caribbean, SIDS, and other vulnerable countries, in particular, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) be fully aired and addressed in the IMO. These include the plight of seafarers, maritime safety and security, cybersecurity in shipping and port technologies, and pollution prevention measures,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister argued that Jamaica’s candidature is an important signal of its maritime status and reputation at the international level and “underscores the importance we ascribe to the International Maritime Organization and our involvement in its work”.