Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, remains confident that Jamaica will be successful in regaining a seat on the 40-member Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the 2022-2023 biennium.
“We will again return to the polls in early December of this year to regain our place on the IMO Council, allowing us to continue advocating for the development of uniform standards for international shipping, while advancing the issues of the Caribbean region, small island developing states (SIDS), and Least Developed Countries,” he said.
Mr. Montague was speaking at a ceremony on April 15 to launch Jamaica’s bid for a seat in Category C of the powerful IMO Council.
The Minister said the Government is cognisant about the quality of the competition, noting that “we will be contending with very seasoned member states from right across the globe”, adding that “notwithstanding, we will not be daunted”.
Mr. Montague pointed out that the re-election bid was aimed at strengthening Jamaica’s and the region’s global position in the maritime sector.
“Despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will nevertheless communicate to our nation and the world at large that we believe in our worth, capability and leadership… none of which has been discouraged by the recent challenges,” he declared.
The Minister added that “it is this indomitable spirit that now drives us to, once again, put forward our candidature for re-election.”
Mr. Montague emphasised that the bid was a “strategic move” that will elevate Jamaica’s SIDS maritime profile within the IMO.
He highlighted Jamaica recently taking a lead role in easing the plight of seafarers who have been stranded at sea due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our actions to provide for the facilitation of crew changes is an excellent example of a successful joined-up government initiative in a quick response to the pleas from the international community of the United Nations and its bodies, including the IMO, the international shipping industry and seafarer organisations,” he said.
Mr. Montague further emphasised that the Government of Jamaica has demonstrated that “through the provision of massive investments in maritime and port infrastructure, maritime education and training as well as a qualified workforce, among a host of other relevant attributes, we qualify for a place on the IMO Council.”
Jamaica and The Bahamas are the two Caribbean countries currently represented on the IMO Council.