IMO Secretary-General Meets with WMU Caribbean Graduates
Several WMU graduates from Jamaica and the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) met with Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the IMO and WMU Chancellor, on his recent visit to Jamaica. Mr. Sekimizu led a delegation of IMO representatives to Jamaica to attend a Senior Marine Administrators (SMA) meeting and High Level Symposium (HLS) of Ministers of Transport in the Caribbean from February 19-22.
The four-day visit, hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, was attended by delegates from approximately 20 States of the WCR and overseas territories, as well as Jamaica. A number of the participants were WMU graduates and hold senior positions, or head maritime related organizations in their respective nations. To date, there are 104 WMU graduates from the Caribbean Region with the highest number of graduates coming from Jamaica (27), closely followed by Trinidad and Tobago (25).
The SMA involved graduates in discussing areas of assistance needed from the IMO through its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme. In the past, such programs have included strengthening of the institutional and legislative framework of fledgling maritime administrations in the region as well as human capacity building.
To assist in strengthening the maritime technical, human, and regulatory framework of particular areas, the IMO has established a presence in selected developing regions, including the Caribbean. The post of Regional Maritime Adviser (Caribbean) was established in 1985 by CARICOM, and since 2000 has fallen under the auspices of the IMO’s Technical Co-operation Division. The office of the Adviser is based inTrinidad and Tobago and covers fourteen (14) independent States and sixteen (16) dependent territories in the Wider Caribbean Region. The current Adviser, Mr. Colin Young, is also a WMU graduate.
The HLS was intended to inform the responsible Ministers in the region on critical international maritime developments that will affect their countries’ reputations as responsible maritime states. Mr. Sekimizu addressed the group on “The Institutionalization of the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS).”
Additional representatives from the IMO included Mr. Jianxin Zhu, Director, IMO Technical Co-operation Division who also serves as an ex-officio member of the WMU Executive Board and Board of Governors, and Mr. Pedro San Miguel, Head of the IMO Latin America and Caribbean Section of the Technical Co-operation Division.
Note: Many thanks to alumnus Carolyn A.E. Graham, Registrar of Seafarers, Maritime Authority of Jamaica, for providing the photos and information.