LONDON: Malaysia has been re-elected to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) assembly for the ninth consecutive term as a council member under Category C for the 2022-2023 biennium.
Voting took place during IMO 32nd General Assembly yesterday (Dec 10) at the IMO headquarters in London and Malaysia managed to garner 128 votes out of the total 159 votes.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong is leading a delegation to the IMO assembly in London, which is taking place from Dec 6 to 15 this year.
“Malaysia has done it again, winning one of 20 places to retain her seat in Category C of the IMO Assembly for the 2022-2023 biennium.
“We were one of 27 nation states vying, three more than the previous biennium when there were only 24 IMO Member States contending,” said Dr Wee, while noting that Malaysia’s first term started during the 2006-2007 biennium.
Dr Wee said the process to seek re-election started at the end of the previous IMO council election in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The IMO assembly is held every two years and the election of IMO Council members is also held during the assembly.
Malaysia’s efforts to be re-elected into the IMO council was led by the Transport Ministry’s Maritime division in close cooperation with Wisma Putra and the Malaysian High Commission in London, said Dr Wee.
“In winning the election, Malaysia takes this honour and responsibility very seriously because shipping is one of the most important modes of goods transportation for Malaysia as well as the enabler to our economic growth.
“Malaysian ports and its shipping industries play a vital role in the economic development of the country.
“The interest of our human capital in the shipping and maritime industries will also benefit as a result of our re-election to the IMO Council,” said Dr Wee.
Dr Wee also said Malaysia’s victory hinged on the country’s long-term commitments and contributions to the programmes and ideals of the IMO and its constituent agencies.
“This re-election reflects Malaysia’s recognition by the IMO and its member states for our collaboration in marine security, environment protection, seafarers’ welfare and rights, as well as maintaining the safety and security of shipping worldwide,” added Dr Wee.
On behalf of the government, Dr Wee said Malaysia expresses its deepest appreciation to all nations, partners and colleagues in the IMO assembly for a fruitful and forward-looking meeting.
“Their support and cooperation in many matters under the IMO umbrella will spur Malaysia’s efforts to develop her maritime and related industries according to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“Our hope as a responsible and committed council member is to continue collaborating with the IMO and our fellow member states in our shared long-term mission to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping for all nations and communities worldwide.”
IMO, a specialised agency of the United Nations, is the global standard setting authority for the safety, security and environmental sustainability of international shipping.
IMO’s main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair, effective, and adopted as well as implemented universally.
Category C are countries which have special interest in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the council will ensure representation of all major geographical areas in the world.
Category A refers to the 10 states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services, such as China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, South Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Catebory B are the 10 states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade, such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates.