Russia names its first-ever candidate to compete for the IMO Secretary-General post

The Russian Federation has sent to the Secretariat of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) a statement on the nomination of a candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the Organization. The nominee is Deputy Director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport of Russian Ministry of Transport Vitaly Klyuev, the candidate's press release said.

It will be the first time ever that a candidate from Russia will compete for the IMO SG's post. Previously, the country never nominated its candidates for the post of Secretary-General of IMO.

Russia is a member State of the IMO since the inception of the Organization.

Vote on the nominees for the IMO Secretary-General post will take place at the end of June 2015. The new Secretary-General of IMO will assume the office as from 1 January 2016.

Vitaly Klyuevs Vision

International Maritime Organization is the global technical institution aimed to regulate international shipping. IMO has a full set of instruments for both developing and properly implementing the mandatory regulations. IMO provides a wide-range forum for developing regulations. 

Main principles of IMO activities:

  • IMO is a member driven organization;
  • Involvement of all stakeholders/interested parties in all aspects of IMO activity is a key point;
  • Global and universal approach to regulatory work and implementation process;
  • Technical guidance of development and implementation of requirements;
  • Transparency of activities;
  • Assessment of effectiveness of activities;
  • Maintaining balance between safety, environment protection, social (human) aspects and possibilities of the shipping industry;
  • Efficiency of shipping.

Role of the IMO Secretariat:

  • Technical support for meetings;
  • Providing legal advice on the regulatory developments;
  • Providing (organizing) technical expertise on the regulations under development;
  • Promoting intergovernmental cooperation and communication within the IMO mandate;
  • Maintaining dialogue with the maritime industry;
  • Supporting interagency cooperation and communication.

Secretary-Generals points of focus for the nearest future:

  • Completing reforms initiated by the incumbent SG;
  • Keeping adequate budget of the Organization;
  • Maintaining the adequate composition and ability of the Secretariat staff;
  • Proper and effective implementation of IMO Member States Audit Scheme as well as other new requirements in which the Secretariat is directly involved;
  • Improving reporting scheme including electronic means;
  • Collection of data on mandatory requirements implementation by Member States, and difficulties faced.

Areas of potential improvement of the Secretariat activities:

  • Closer attention to regulation implementation by Member States via more effective technical support from the Organization;
  • More effective use of Technical Cooperation programs, reorganizing TC scheme and TC strategy, providing more specific support to Member States encountering implementation difficulties;
  • More effective use of the Secretariat staff and resources, documenting duties and responsibilities of every staff member and every Secretariat division;
  • Introduction of a Quality Management System  in the Secretariat;
  • Development and implementation of the Secretariat program/schedule of proactive communication with every Member State focusing on developing countries, maintaining up-to-date communication channels between the Secretariat and every Member State;
  • Introduction of an assessment scheme for the regulative effect of regulations, both under development and existing;
  • A broader use of risk based approach to the various IMO activities;
  • Initiate a comprehensive review of the existing regulations to provide more flexibility to the industry while maintaining the equivalent or higher level of safety.

About IMO

The London, UK headquartered International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations with 170 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. 

In 1948 an international conference in Geneva adopted a convention formally establishing IMO (the original name was the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization, or IMCO, but the name was changed in 1982 to IMO). The IMO Convention entered into force in 1958 and the new Organization met for the first time the following year. The IMO's activities are aimed among others at the abolition of discriminatory practices affecting international merchant shipping, as well as at the adoption of rules (standards) on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution of the environment from ships, primarily the marine environment. The IMO has a staff of about 300 people.

In a sense, the IMO is a forum where member-states can share information, discuss the legal framework, technical and other issues related to shipping and pollution of the marine environment. IMO is governed by an Assembly of members and is financially administered by a Council of members elected from the Assembly. 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.

Currently, the IMO Secretary-General is a representative of Japan Koji Sekimizu. He has visited the Russian Federation several times and took part in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, and also was a passenger of the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker traveling on the Northern Sea Route.