The Philippines has secured its position in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council under Category C for 2024-2025 biennium during the 33rd Session of the IMO Assembly held on 01 December 2023 in IMO Headquarters, London, United Kingdom.

In his general statement during the IMO Assembly, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime J. Bautista underscored the importance of the country’s re-election to the IMO Council.
“We believe our re-election will allow us to continue contributing to the maritime industry, not just as a top provider of top-caliber seafarers, but also at promoting safe and secure shipping operations, geared towards growth, modernization, resiliency and sustainability,” Sec. Bautista said.

The Council is the executive organ of the IMO responsible for supervising the work of the Organization. The IMO Council has three categories: Category A is composed of ten (10) States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services. While Category B is composed of ten (10) States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. Category C is composed of 20 states that have special interest in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world. The Philippines takes home victory with 136 votes from the IMO Member States, elevating its rank from 16th in 2021 to 7th this year. Other elected countries in Category C include Bahamas, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Türkiye.

In his candidature statement, Ambassador Locsin, highlighted gender equality among others and mentioned that it lies at the core of our domestic policies and international commitments and the Philippines is keen to promote IMO’s initiatives on the empowerment and growing role of women in the maritime industry.

“It is not about leaving some behind in any worthy field of human endeavor, but of going farther forward, as can only be done by women and men together. For those of us who are personally descended from seafarers, the sea will always hold the perfume promise of return and the fragrance of hope.” the Ambassador fervently stated.

The Philippines has been part of the IMO Council since 1997. The country’s re-election to the IMO Council under Category C is a proof of its integral role in policy formulation and decision-making process of the IMO. This privilege likewise provides the Philippines with voting rights to the IMO Council, a venue to promote Filipino seafarers, Philippine ship registry, shipbuilding, and other maritime sectors in the maritime world. Through these benefits, the Philippines could further strengthen its participation in the advancement of having a safe, sustainable, future-ready, environmentally sound and green maritime industry.

The successful outcome was made possible through the sustained and collaborative campaign efforts from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Office of United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO) and the Philippine Embassy in London, Department of Transportation, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, PAMTCI/PTC and other supporting entities.

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