Jamaica’s commitments to its maritime development and future growth go hand in hand with its support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the country’s Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport (MSETT) said this week as the country celebrated its re-election to Category C of the IMO Council.
Leading Jamaica’s delegation to the 33rd IMO Assembly, the Hon Daryl Vaz, MP (pictured), said that Jamaica recognises and fully supports the IMO’s work at all levels of its Government, institutions and agencies. Minister Vaz told the Assembly: “There is also unequivocal recognition and consensus in our Government, that the IMO is the competent body with the technical responsibility for maritime safety and security, environmentally sound, efficient, and sustainable shipping.”
He highlighted the importance to Jamaica, of programmes which help Developing Countries, Least Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, such as the IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programmes strategically linked to the Sustainable Development Goals which assist with capacity development to effectively implement international maritime instruments. “Our ability to perform as a responsible and well-regulated maritime nation has benefitted from these programmes, which we fully embrace,” he said.
Jamaica is fully committed to supporting the IMO’s ambitious new decarbonisation goals. The country’s Prime Minister is a member of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy which has pledged to bring a holistic approach to ocean management, balancing the development of the ocean with the needed environmental preservation.
The delegation also comprised: the High Commissioner of Jamaica to UK, H.E. Alexander Williams and his team, including Deputy High Commissioner Mrs Patricia Laird Grant; Counsellor Political and Economic, Mr Dmitry Robertson, and, Under Secretary Political, Mr Travis Barrett, Mr. Donovan Walker MAJ Board Member; Mr Bert Smith, Director Legal Affairs, MAJ, Mrs Jodi Munn Barrow, CMOU Secretary General, Ms. Tanya Bedward, Principal Director Transport Policy, MSETT, and Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General, MAJ and Special Envoy.
Minister Vaz noted that also attending the IMO Assembly as part of Jamaica’s delegation was MAJ chairperson, Corah Ann Robertson Sylvester, CEO of Seaboard Freight and Shipping Jamaica Limited, who is also the newly elected President of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, and only the second woman to hold this post during the association’s 85-year history.
Jamaica has been very active during this 33rd IMO Assembly. On 20th November, Jamaica co-hosted a Joint IMO Luncheon with The Netherlands where the main theme of discussions was women in maritime affairs. Jamaica outlined the IMO’s work, and programme related to gender equality and highlighted its commitment to promoting women’s participation in the maritime industry, in accordance with the UN Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Minister Vaz also praised outgoing IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim for his eight years of “strong leadership”, including the challenging years of the Covid-19 pandemic, and congratulated Panama’s Aresenio Dominguez Velasco on his appointment as Secretary-General.
Jamaica’s prominent role in global shipping regulation is an important element of its global leadership and maritime commitment. Jamaica is proud to have been a Council Member in Cat. C since 2007, bar the 2015-2016 biennium, and currently chairs the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III).
The Minister outlined how the Jamaican Government’s long-term objectives fully recognise the value of international shipping as a major plank of its strategic economic outlook. Minister Vaz said: “The marine sector is growing the economy while providing employment opportunities facilitated by on-going substantial investments in world class ports in cruise and transshipment, ship repair, bunkering hub, dynamic Caribbean Maritime University, and our professional maritime administration.”
“We will continue to cooperate and provide assistance to our regional partners in the true spirit of IMO collaboration and cooperation, as we can ably do as a Council member of this Organization,” said Minister Vaz.