President Reports to IMO Council 2022
On 2 December, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), addressed the 128th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council to report on the activities of the University. The 128th Council session was held at IMO from 28 November to 2 December.
President Doumbia-Henry reported on the University's operations during 2021 and on salient decisions of the WMU Board of Governors during its fortieth session held virtually in May 2022. The President’s report provided detailed information relating to governance, funding, academic, administrative and partnership matters and showcased the University's work and deep commitment to the maritime community and IMO's goals.
The President’s remarks confirmed that despite the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University unwaveringly delivered its mandate throughout the pandemic utilizing virtual teaching as required. With the recent graduation of the Class of 2022, the total number of WMU graduates stands at over 5,800 from 170 countries and territories.
A major achievement highlighted was the accreditation of WMU degrees by the Government of Sweden effective 1 January 2022. President Doumbia-Henry thanked all parties involved, particularly the Government of Sweden and IMO for their support. The accreditation in WMU’s host country further enhances the University's global status, in addition to the accreditation by ZEvA (Zentrale Evaluations- und Akkreditierungsagentur Hannover/Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency Hanover, Germany), and allows all member States to proceed with the recognition of the WMU degrees under their national legislation.
President Doumbia-Henry reported on enhanced cooperation with IMO, particularly the development of IMO e-learning courses, the latest of which was launched during the 72nd session of IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee. It was also noted that despite the limitations of the pandemic, in 2021 the University established 11 new partnership agreements and organized or co-hosted 12 national and international events and conferences both in person and in virtual mode. President Doumbia-Henry noted that 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of WMU, since IMO established the University in 1983, and that information about a series of events and an international conference will be available on the WMU website in due course.
In reiterating the importance of donations to the financial stability of the University to support providing high level education and training required by member States, President Doumbia-Henry extended thanks to all donors with particular mention of the Government of Sweden including the City of Malmö, The Nippon Foundation, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), the Republic of Korea, Canada, China, Germany, Thailand, Cyprus, Turkish Shipbuilders' Association, the United States Friends of WMU, Australia and the Bahamas for their financial support in 2021. Major donors for fellowships in the reporting period included The Sasakawa Peace Foundation/Nippon Foundation, the IMO Global Capacity Building and Training Programme, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Australia, ITF Seafarersʹ Trust, Germany, TK Foundation, The Orient’s Fond (Denmark), the United Kingdom, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Stena Rederi AB, the Grimaldi Foundation, Gard A/S, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Maritime and Port Authority Academy Singapore, Norwegian Cruise line Holdings, Norwegian Seafarers' Union and the World Nuclear Transport Institute.
President Doumbia-Henry reiterated WMU's commitment to member States and the international maritime community to uphold the University’s leading position as a centre of excellence for advanced maritime education with a focus on capacity building of developing countries in accordance with the IMO goals and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The President appealed to all member States to consider financial support to WMU, whether that means expanding existing contributions or making an initial contribution, to strengthen the University’s financial sustainability and development and also ensure that developing countries which are severely affected by COVID-19 can rebuild as quickly as possible with the skills WMU graduates acquire.