Sailing ahead with the International Maritime Organization

Sailing ahead with IMO_Header

Earlier today in London, Singapore was successfully re-elected as a Member of the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). We have been a Council Member since 1993. With this re-election, we will serve our 12th consecutive term from 2016 to 2017.

The Singapore delegation here in London is honoured and grateful to IMO Member States for their support. Being a Council Member comes with heavy responsibilities, and we take them seriously and do our best. We will continue to be objective and inclusive, and always give balanced consideration to the different perspectives and concerns of IMO Member States and the industry.

First convened in 1959, the IMO is the United Nations’ specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. The 40-Member Council is the executive organ of the IMO and is responsible for supervising the work of the Organization. As shipping is a lifeline for Singapore, we joined the IMO in 1966, shortly after our independence.

Sailing ahead with IMO_PictureIn our early years, Singapore benefitted greatly from the training and technical assistance generously provided by developed countries and the international community, including in maritime affairs. With their expert advice and support, we were able to create good jobs, transform our city, and build a better home for Singaporeans. And Singapore’s port has become one of the world’s busiest and sits on a vital sea lane for global shipping – with 1,000 vessels at any one time in our port, and a ship leaving or arriving here every two to three minutes. Our maritime sector is a key economic driver contributing some 7% to our GDP, and a source of good jobs for Singaporeans, with more than 170,000 people employed in the sector.

Today, Singapore is able to give back to the international community by providing training and technical assistance and sharing our experiences with other States. The MPA Academy had repositioned itself as a full-fledged academy with a dedicated facility in 2014 to be better able to deliver our global maritime leadership training programmes.

The re-election is a confirmation that our efforts are appreciated by the international maritime community. I hope Singaporeans too will join hands with MOT and MPA to build an even brighter future for Maritime Singapore.

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