Former IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu wins International Maritime Prize

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2016 is to be awarded to former Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Koji Sekimizu, for his contribution to the work of IMO over many years. The IMO Council unanimously decided to award the prize to Mr Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General Emeritus, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the work and objectives of the organisation and the international maritime community as a whole. Mr Sekimizu had a long and distinguished career with the IMO, culminating in his four-year stewardship as Secretary-General from 2012 to 2016.

In nominating his candidature for the International Maritime Prize, the Government of Japan recognised Mr Sekimizu’s lifetime dedication to promoting safety of life at sea and protecting the marine environment, as well as his outstanding leadership and contribution to the work and objectives of IMO.

Mr Sekimizu joined the IMO Secretariat in 1989 and worked in both the Maritime Safety and Marine Environment Divisions, holding the post of Director for each before going on to be elected Secretary-General.

In this role, Mr Sekimizu oversaw the adoption of a number of key instruments, including the amendments to make the IMO Member State Audit Scheme mandatory, the Polar Code and the Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety.

Japan also highlighted his work to push forward with the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from ships. He contributed greatly to the enforcement of anti-piracy measures, including setting up the Djibouti Regional Training Centre.

Mr Sekimizu worked to strengthen the governance and capacity of IMO’s educational institutions, and the financial sustainability of the World Maritime University.

Within IMO, Mr Sekimizu began a review and reform process which led to the Organization’s Sub-Committees being restructured and revised working methods being introduced, including “PaperSmart” practices and enhancements in information and communication technology.

The International Maritime Prize for 2016 will be presented during a ceremony to be held during 30th session of the IMO Assembly in November.