Round Table Discussion - IMO Challenges
As the conclusion of a two-week, intensive foundation course focusing on the IMO System for Maritime Governance, a round table discussion was held at WMU on 5 December regarding key challenges facing the IMO. The debate highlighted that a new paradigm shift is needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The round table discussion was the culmination of the course and addressed the ship emissions sulfur cap, climate change as well as relevant IMO reforms. Invited speakers included: Dorota Lost-Sieminska, Deputy Director and Head, Legal Affairs Office, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, IMO; Charlotte A. Steen, Deputy Director General, Danish Maritime Authority; Clea Henrichsen, Special Advisor, Danish Maritime Authority; Lars Robert Pedersen, Deputy Secretary General, BIMCO; and Fotis Karamitsos, Deputy Director-General (ret'd), Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission.
It was noted that the significant capacity-building undertaken for decades by IMO and its educational institutions, notably the World Maritime University (WMU) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), placed a responsibility on beneficiary States to take serious actions commensurate with the IMO mandate to ensure safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans. The discussion highlighted that IMO had made significant strides in reducing the impact of shipping on climate change, yet there is more to be done, particularly to ensure that developing countries are not left out of the cleaner shipping string of MARPOL-observant States.
As part of the foundation studies for the Class of 2019, the overall course provided a broad review of IMO Conventions and the organization’s working arrangements. Throughout the course, students engaged in highly interactive activities including group work and a simulation of an IMO technical committee meeting where a new emissions control area (ECA) was tabled for debate. The idea stemmed from a proposal made on the sidelines of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee’s (MEPC) 73rd session for the setting up of an ECA in the Mediterranean region. The course was delivered by WMU’s Professor Max Mejia and Associate Professor Aref Fakhry.