Philippines re-elected to IMO Council

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Philippines re-elected to IMO Council
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista (center) led the Philippine delegation at the 33rd International Maritime Organization Assembly in London. Photo from the Department of Transportation.
  • The Philippines has been re-elected to the International Maritime Organization Council during the 33rd IMO Assembly in London
  • Ranked 7th and receiving the 4th most votes out of 20 countries in Category C, the re-election marks the highest number of votes for the Philippines since joining the IMO Council in 1989
  • A total of 171 IMO member states participated in the Assembly, with 168 qualified to vote and 136 supporting the Philippines’ re-election
  • Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista expressed gratitude for the broad support, highlighting the importance of the Philippines’ role in global shipping and the international maritime community

The Philippines has been re-elected to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council during the recent 33rd IMO Assembly in London.

Out of 20 countries elected to the Council under Category C for the 2024-2025 biennium, the Philippines secured the seventh rank, receiving the fourth most votes. The accomplishment is particularly noteworthy as it represents the highest number of votes the Philippines has received since joining the IMO Council in 1989, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.

A total of 171 IMO member-states participated in the Assembly, with 168 qualified to vote. A total of 136 of these member-states voted in favor of the Philippines, demonstrating widespread support for the country’s continued role in the Council.

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista, leading the Philippine delegation at the IMO assembly, expressed gratitude for the broad support, saying, “We are grateful for the support of representatives from the Transport Department, Foreign Affairs Department, Philippine embassy in the United Kingdom, MARINA, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, and other private sector representatives.”

The Philippines, having been the president of the 32nd Assembly and an IMO member since 1964, has consistently played a vital role in global shipping and the international maritime community, according to the DOTr.

Bautista emphasized the country’s commitment to contributing to the global maritime industry. He said, “We believe our re-election will allow us to continue contributing to the global maritime industry, not just as a top provider of top-caliber seafarers but also at promoting safe and secure shipping operations, geared towards growth, modernization, resiliency and sustainability.”

On the sidelines of the assembly, Bautista signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Transport Minister Saleh Al Jasser. The MOU focuses on the continued recognition by KSA of the training certificates of Filipino seafarers, aiming to generate additional employment opportunities and promote platforms for technical cooperation.

Additionally, Bautista met with ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to discuss pertinent issues, including the progress and development of transport systems in their respective countries.

The country’s ongoing role ensures it actively contributes to shaping policies affecting international shipping and maritime activities.

The ten states elected under Category A are recognized for their substantial involvement in providing international shipping services. They are China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Norway, Panama, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Category B features ten states with a pronounced interest in international seaborne trade: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates.

Category C encompasses twenty states not included in the first two categories. These nations, recognized for their special interests in maritime transport or navigation, were elected to ensure diverse geographic representation worldwide. Among them are Bahamas, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Türkiye.

As the 33rd IMO Assembly concluded in London, the newly elected Council is gearing up for its 131st session scheduled for December 7. During this session, the Council will elect its Chair and Vice-Chair for the upcoming biennium, crucial appointments that will guide the organization’s activities and contribute to the shaping of the maritime agenda for the next two years.

READ: PH aims for reelection to IMO Council in 2024-2025