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Wednesday, December 4, 2019 

Speaking at to an industry audience in late November following his relelection, the Secretary General of the IMO Kitack Lim dispelled any notion that there was a possibility of delaying the implementation of the sulphur cap, due to be introduced on 1 January 2020.

He said: "As part of IMO’s Green Credentials, we have reaffirmed the collective readiness to implement the global sulphur limit for fuel oil used on board ships from 1 January 2020, which will have major health and environmental benefits for the world, and the fulfilment of the initial IMO GHG strategy and its work plan to reduce harmful air emissions from ships towards the final objective to phasing them out completely.

"On organisational and governance matters, we have demonstrated that IMO is an agile and proactive organisation, enhancing its leadership as the global regulator of international shipping. A clear example is the agreement reached on the ongoing Council reform agenda, in particular to increase its size and extend its term for greater inclusivity and representation, and by adopting clearer ethical guidance for the conduct of campaigns for IMO Council election.

"We collectively reaffirmed our commitment to preserving the legacy of the World Maritime Theme for 2019 which is, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” towards achieving a barrier-free working environment for women in the maritime sector, through the adoption of an Assembly resolution.

"Thank you all, once again, for entrusting me with the stewardship of this organization by approving my re-appointment as Secretary-General for a second term. It is difficult for me to put into words what your faith and confidence means to me. I can simply say that I will not let you down! Thank you!

"With a record number of attendance and a record number of Minister and Deputy Ministers addressing the Assembly, it is fair to say that IMO and its work has never been this visible.

"Your decisions regarding the reform agenda have further demonstrated the increased openness and transparency of the organization.

"The interest of member states to serve as members of the IMO Council and the fair and democratic process of the Council elections, has once more been testament of the collaboration and desire to continue supporting the IMO mission and vision.

"As we move forward, IMO has never been better positioned to continue to serve as a modern UN organisation. We will move forward with the reform agenda and our professional technical work to increase even more the safety, security and environmental protection credentials of our industry.

"We will demonstrate further that IMO is an organization that listens to its members and people as a whole; that welcomes new technological developments and is not only committed, but determined, through concrete actions by looking inwards and outwards for areas to improve; and ultimately committed to a sustainable future.

"Although we are nearing the end of this year, I would like to conclude by addressing our future.

"As we move forward along our path towards the achievement of our common goals, we will play our crucial role in enabling sustainable economic growth and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.

"We will continue our efforts to address climate change and conservation of our oceans, and more immediately, the smooth implementation of IMO 2020. 

"We will address adaptation to the new benefits and challenges that technological development, artificial intelligence and digitalisation brings to our industry; and more importantly, to enhance measures to protect our seafarers and enhance the participation of women in the maritime industry.

"We will continue to work in partnership with each other, all of us!

"I believe, we can be truly proud of IMO, that is not big in size, however the most exemplary prestigious international public organisation."

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