Australia aims for re-election to International Maritime Organization Council

  • Joint media release with:
  • The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Leader of The Nationals
19 February 2021

Australia will seek re-election to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Council for the 2022-23 biennium to secure its voice at the world’s premier maritime forum.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the prosperity of Australia — one of the founding members of the IMO — relies on shipping.

“As the world’s largest bulk exporter and with our resources and agricultural exports helping build, fuel and feed the world, Australia has a strong claim for re-election,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Re-election for the 2022-23 biennium of Council will ensure Australia’s continued influence in the activities and decisions of the IMO which are of significant national interest to our country.

“That would mean the continuation of our work for a more transparent, efficient and innovative IMO and will ensure we have the opportunities to continue advocating for a sustainable shipping industry well into the future.”

Mr McCormack said Australia’s re-election would allow us to continue to be a strong voice for our region at the IMO.

“We have championed organisational reform initiatives to strengthen the institution and make it more balanced, fair and inclusive for all members,” Mr McCormack said.

“Australia supports a bigger voice at the IMO for Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries.

“We strengthen regional maritime capability by funding scholarships,  providing martime technical support and advocating for digital participation at IMO meetings to ensure access for all member states — particulary through these difficult times of COVID-19.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said Australia had contributed to the IMO since its inception and had earned a reputation for being able to work across borders with all member states to achieve fair and sustainable decisions.

“IMO outcomes are vital to Australia’s interests, particularly to ensure economic protections for Australia’s vast shipping exports,” Minister Payne said.

“Our participation on the Council helps us shape standards for international trade and sea transport, which underpin our modern economy and ensure Australian businesses have a level playing field.

“Re-election will allow Australia to continue to build on decades of collaboration that has resulted in significant steps forward both environmentally and economically for our country and our regional partners, from protecting sensitive environments such as the Great Barrier Reef to regulating sulphur emissions.

“While we have achieved a lot to date, Australia has much more to contribute as a member of the IMO Council. We look forward to a successful election campaign for 2022-23.”

The IMO is the United Nations’ specialised agency responsible for developing and maintaining comprehensive standards which apply to the safety, security and environmental performance of international commercial shipping.

Category B of the IMO Council, to which Australia seeks re-election, comprises 10 seats for countries with the largest interest in international seaborne trade.

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