By Arab News
By Francesco Bongarra
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been elected to the council of the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping, and to prevent pollution from ships.
The election took place at the end of the 32nd general assembly of the London-based IMO, which was established in 1948 and currently has 175 member states.
Essam Al-Ammari, Saudi permanent representative to the IMO, told Arab News that his country “will work with other member states to support the issues faced by seafarers, and promote and initiate projects to support climate mitigation and international cooperation.”
He said the Kingdom plans to tackle growing inequality between IMO member nations, assist least developed countries and small island developing states in their economic recovery, and invest in greener technologies to reduce the environmental impact of shipping.
The Kingdom has also pledged to offer world-class training to nations that are threatened by modern-day piracy, and to highlight issues faced by seafarers.
Saudi Arabia, a maritime nation bordering two vital waterways, has been an active supporter of the IMO since joining it in 1969.
The Kingdom actively participates in all meetings of the IMO council, general assembly, main committees, sub committees and working groups. Saudi Arabia has ratified 40 international conventions and protocols of the IMO.
In September, the organization signed three partnership agreements with the Kingdom to support the preparation of a new global project to target ship-based emissions. Further funding goes to existing projects focused on biofouling and marine plastic litter.
The IMO was established by means of a convention adopted under the auspices of the UN in Geneva on March 17, 1948.