WMU President Addresses IMO Assembly

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and WMU President Maximo Q. Mejia with some of the WMU graduates in attendance at the 33rd IMO Assembly. It is of note that both Mr. Lim and Professor Mejia are WMU graduates.

Professor Maximo Q. Mejia, Jr., President of the World Maritime University (WMU), addressed the 33rd session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which took place from 27 November - 6 December. 

President Mejia provided an update on activities of the University in 2022 and 2023, and expressed appreciation for the continued support from the IMO Member States, Secretariat, and other partners in both the public and private sectors. Appreciation was also extended to the Secretary-General for his trust and leadership, the Board of Governors and the Executive Board for their guidance, and the IMO community for its steadfast support. 

Highlights included the 40th anniversary of WMU in 2023 and the recent graduation on 28 October of 283 individuals from 71 countries that included a record of 35 per cent women in the Master’s programme, and 10 candidates were awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in Maritime Affairs, out of whom 7 were women. The overall total of WMU alumni now stands at 6,087 from 170 countries and territories.

Thanks were extended to major donors who supported the University in 2021-22, including: Sweden, The Nippon Foundation of Japan, Republic of Korea, Canada, and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). Major fellowship contributors include: The Nippon Foundation (Sasakawa Peace Foundation), the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme Global Capacity-building and Training Programme, ITF Seafarers' Trust, Ministry of Transport Germany, TK Foundation, Orients Fond, Stena Rederi, Grimaldi Foundation, Gard A/S, Wallenius, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) Academy of Singapore, Norwegian Seafarers’ Union, and the Governments of Australia, China, Germany, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and United Kingdom. Special thanks were also extended to the US Coast Guard for their ongoing, in-kind contribution of a full-time Lecturer as part of the WMU faculty. 

President Mejia expressed gratitude to IMO for engaging with WMU on a number of key initiatives including the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme and e-learning course development. He highlighted that WMU’s achievements are the result of a dedicated partnership with the IMO, the Governing Boards, Member States, UN partners, civil society, academia, the private sector and other stakeholders.  

“As we march into the next WMU Strategic Plan 2024 – 2027, my vision for the University is to ensure that WMU remains fit-for-purpose, adaptable, and continuously modernizing its programmes, particularly focusing on the implementation of IMO international maritime instruments while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development. I thank the Assembly once again for your invaluable guidance, insights, and support,” said President Mejia. 


The Assembly is open to all 175 IMO Member States and three Associate Members. It is also attended by observers from intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.  

The Assembly is the highest Governing Body of the International Maritime Organization and meets once every two years in regular sessions, but may also meet in an extraordinary session, if necessary. The Assembly is responsible for approving the work programme, the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the Organization. The Assembly also elects the Members of the Council. In addition, the Assembly adopts certain resolutions emanating from the five IMO Committees and endorses actions of the Council with respect to the admission of new intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as observers. The Assembly also adopts amendments to certain treaties, if so provided therein.

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