Tuesday, May 26, 2009

IMO - International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), formerly known as the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) is the specialised agency of the United Nations with responsibility for safety and security at sea and the prevention of marine pollution from ships.

The Convention which established the IMCO (Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization) was adopted in Geneva in 1948, but it only came into force ten years later, and the new Organization met for the first time the following year in 1959 and is the only United Nations agency with its headquarters in London. The IMCO name was changed to IMO in 1982. Over the years IMO has adopted some 40 Conventions and Protocols and numerous Codes and recommendations relating to safety, pollution prevention, security measures, liability and compensation issues and facilitation of international maritime traffic.
IMO: Safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans

IMO is a technical organization and most of its work is carried out in a number of committees and sub-committees, overseen by the Council and Assembly. All the committees and sub-committees of IMO are open to participation by all Member Governments on an equal basis. The IMO Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of some 300 international civil servants. The Secretary-General is appointed by the Council, with the approval of the Assembly.

Headquartered in London, in the United Kingdom, the IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations with 168 Member States and three Associate Members. The IMO's primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping. IMO is governed by an Assembly of members and is financially administered by a Council of members elected from the Assembly. The work of IMO is conducted through five committees and these are supported by technical subcommittees. Member organizations of the UN organizational family may observe the proceedings of the IMO. Observer status is granted to qualified non-governmental organizations.

The IMO is supported by a permanent secretariat of employees who are representative of its members. The secretariat is composed of a Secretary-General who is periodically elected by the Assembly, and various divisions such as those for marine safety, environmental protection, and a conference section.

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