India has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under Category “B” at the 30th session of the Assembly of the IMO held in London on Friday.
The IMO Council, which consists of 40 member countries, plays a crucial role in deciding various important matters in relation to the global shipping industry, including its work programme strategy and budget.
There are three groups of members being Categories “A”, “B”, which consist of 10 members each, and Cateogary “C” with 20 members, who are elected by the IMO Assembly. India is under Category “B”.
Previously, India was re-elected to the IMO Council un-opposed. However, this time two new entrants, i.e. UAE, a non-member of the IMO Council so far and Australia, a member of the IMO Council under Category “C” had filed their nomination and this had necessitated holding of the election.
India, however, emerged a winner in the keenly contested election, securing 144 votes from member-countries.
The 30th Session of the IMO Assembly is being held at IMO Headquarters London from 27 November to 6 December. The Assembly session is being attended by a high level Indian delegation led by Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, among others.
India has been one of the earliest members of the IMO, having ratified its Convention and joined it as a member-state in the year 1959.
India continues to provide services of its expert manpower to the IMO, as and when required.
With re-election, India will continue to engage with the international maritime community to further her maritime interests and promote the welfare of her citizens.
India has a large merchant marine fleet of 1359 vessels, both on foreign going and coastal operations, with a combined Gross Tonnage of 12.2 million. Nearly 90% of India’s overseas trade by volume is carried through maritime transport. Nearly 92% of these goods are carried through foreign flag vessels.
With the Indian economy poised to grow at a faster pace, there exist more opportunities for both the Indian and foreign flag vessels, to carry large volumes of goods, to and from the Indian coasts. India has a strong contingent of more than 145,000 active seafarers who continue to be the preferred choice for specialized vessels.