President Doumbia-Henry Speaks at IMSO 26th Assembly
The 26th session of the Assembly of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) is taking place remotely from 16 to 22 December. Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU) delivered remarks at the opening session on 16 December.
President Doumbia-Henry noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the IMSO has continued to ensure the public safety satellite communication services for distress, including the safety and tracking of ships that the maritime community, including seafarers, rely on worldwide. GMDSS functions have continued and collaboration with partners have been maintained, including recognized mobile satellite service providers, rescue coordination centers and maritime safety information providers.
Digital solutions are rapidly expanding throughout the world and Dr Doumbia-Henry highlighted that the maritime industry is no exception. Shipping companies are relying on information technology applications to effectively support their business activities and the safe conduct of navigation is heavily supported by a significant number of interconnected electronic systems and various digital means. By also factoring that the seas and oceans of our planet are now well integrated into the Internet - most often via satellite support - companies engaged with shipping activities have now an opportunity to reduce costs across the supply and demand chains, improve customer services and even redefine their business-model or ways of conducting operations.
Referring to the 2019 WMU Report, Transport 2040: Automation Technology, Employment - The Future of Work, Dr Doumbia-Henry noted that issues of connectivity and interconnection are standing out for their influence upon humankind, with terms like “age of boundless connectivity” and “intelligent automation” used to describe our future world. Modern sea-going vessels have been transformed into “remote offices at sea”, with more reliable internet availability, applications such as voice over IP (Internet Protocol), email and instant messaging on-board ships. The main enabler for this is the fact that mobile satellite communications have been expanding recently with ever-increasing speed, and there are now available several different options for the design and capability of new and innovative services.
President Doumbia-Henry concluded her remarks saying, “IMSO will continue to have an important role to play as a trusted satellite communication international institution. It will become even more important for the future considering the speed with which technology is changing the way we think and the future we want.”
The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) is the inter-governmental organization whose primary purpose is the oversight of certain public satellite safety and security communication services provided by mobile satellite communication systems. IMSO also serves as the Coordinator for the Long Range Identification and Tracking of Ships (LRIT), appointed by the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) party States at IMO to ensure the worldwide operation of the system. Mr Moin Ahmed, Director General of IMSO is a WMU alumnus (1992).