CAPE TOWN: 04 December 2017
South Africa has expressed appreciation for the continued support it is receiving from the African Union, this after the southern tip of Africa’s country lobbied successfully to retain its seat in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Council in London on Friday.
Despite South Africa having served on the IMO Council and its Assembly since 1995, deriving in part from a relationship established as far as 1948, election for a seat onto the IMO Council is not a foregone conclusion and the 40 Member States that serve on it have to wage a convincing campaign among the 176 countries that make up the United Nations maritime affairs body’s Assembly.
During the IMO Assembly’s 30th Regular Session in London last week, the situation was not any different. The IMO Assembly has been meeting in London since 25 November 2017 and will wrap up business for the session on Thursday this week, (06 December).
Voting to elect new Member States to the IMO Council for the 2018-2019 period took place last Friday – the 5th day of the 30th Regular Session of the Assembly and South Africa emerged among the 40 Member States that will now serve on the council in the next two years.
The IMO Council, – the supervisory structure of the IMO Assembly over two year periods between sessions – is made up of three categories of Member States;
- Category A for Member States denoted as being those with “the largest interest in providing international shipping services”,
- Category B for Member States that are classified as those with “the largest interest in international seaborne trade”, and
- Category C for countries classified as having “special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.”
After the formal announcement of the results on Friday, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga said on behalf of the South Africa Government that she would like to thank all the Member States who cast their ballot in favour of South Africa.
In a statement, Ms Chikunga also extended the word of gratitude to the African Union (AU) for endorsing South Africa’s candidature in the election.
The Department of Transport (DoT) also acknowledged the contribution to South Africa’s IMO Council elections’ success to a working partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) supported by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), Ports Regulator of South Africa and Transnet all of who it said “worked tirelessly to drive South Africa’s re-election campaign.’
“With South Africa being the only country from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) elected to the Council, the African continent will be fairly and fully represented in the affairs of the IMO Council.