Jamaica seeks place on International Maritime Organisation CouncilThursday, February 02, 2017
JAMAICA yesterday launched its bid for a seat on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council, at a ceremony held at Jamaica House.
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, who were out in their numbers at the launch ceremony, were asked to support the country’s candidacy when the IMO meets in London in November this year.
Foreign Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith and Transport and Mining Minister Lester ‘Mike’ Henry led the appeal to the Diplomatic and Consular Corps to support Jamaica’s bid.
Senator Johnson Smith said Jamaica’s size, in contrast to other states, is not an impediment to its ability to impact the international development agenda, arguing that Jamaica boasts the seventh-largest natural harbour, a highly ranked regional trans-shipment hub and an accredited maritime training institution, while being a preferred destination for cruise ships.
Senator Johnson Smith also pointed out that Jamaica is ensuring that women are integrally involved in the maritime sector, pointing out that Claudia Grant, who is the deputy director general of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, now leads the Regional Women in Maritime Association on behalf of women in the region.
At the same time, Minister Henry highlighted the "God-given" gift of Jamaica’s position on the equator, which allows the country to deliver goods and services around the world faster than any other country in a just-in-time world. Minister Henry also highlighted Jamaica’s signatory status of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, "where are we responsible for discharging three types of jurisdiction under the maritime treaties — Coastal State, a Flag State and Port State".
He said that Jamaica’s bid to be elected to Category C of the IMO is a strategic move to raise the country’s maritime profile.
He said that he led Jamaica’s successful campaign in 2007 and the country was elected to the council for the 2008-2009 biennium and in the four succeeding biennia from 2010-2015.
Jamaica was not re-elected at the 2015-2016 biennium, however, Henry is not daunted. He said he believes that the country has the ability to influence the maritime world through its visibility, viability and maturity as a maritime leader, features which are high on the agenda of discerning international investors.
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