IMO establishes new department to tackle key global issues

A new department has been established within the IMO Secretariat to focus on supporting Member States to tackle key global issues in the context of international shipping – and help promote sustainable development.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has a long and successful track record of matching the requirements of developing and less-developed countries with resources made available by a range of governmental, institutional and corporate donors.

Energy efficiency, climate change, protecting biodiversity, preventing marine pollution, maritime safety and security are just some of the areas that have been covered.

The new department will build on this to help tackle these and other key global challenges, within a maritime context, through innovative partnerships and long-term projects. Decarbonization, marine plastic litter and biofouling are among the topic areas already being addressed by IMO’s major projects.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “For the benefits of sustainable development to be evenly spread, all countries must be able to play a full and active part in maritime activities. Building partnerships is key to this. This new department will help that to happen. It’s very much in line with my vision of a ‘Voyage Together’, where no one is left behind when it comes to the effective implementation of IMO’s global standards.

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Operational from 1 March 2020, the Department for Partnerships and Projects will enhance and strengthen partnerships with external stakeholders and donor agencies to tackle some of the major global challenges which impinge on today’s maritime world.

It becomes the focal point for developing partnerships and coordinating long-term donor-funded projects, as well as implementing IMO’s resource mobilization strategy to strengthen its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

The new department reflects IMO’s strong and continuing commitment to helping its Member States achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and implement the Organization’s regulatory framework.

It will serve as a gateway for partnership opportunities with a wide range of external partners, including IMO Member States, UN agencies, financial institutions, NGOs, IGOs and the private sector. A key objective will be to increase IMO’s existing portfolio of donor-supported long-term projects supporting its technical cooperation objectives.

It will promote a culture of collaboration and innovation, creating broader engagement and partnerships with maritime and ocean-related stakeholders.

With the new department, the existing Partnerships and Resource Mobilization team within IMO’s Technical Cooperation Division and the Major Projects team in the Marine Environment Division come together under a single umbrella. The resultant synergy and harmonization is designed to ensure that IMO Member States are better served.

The new department will be headed by Mr. Jose Matheickal, who brings more than 15 years’ experience of leading and coordinating major projects at IMO, supported by Mr Youngso Kim, who will lead the partnerships function within the new structure.

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