IMO Secretary General Pledges Full Support to RP Maritime Development

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MANILA, Philippines - International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has pledged IMO's support for the Philippines in all facets of the country's maritime development during a recent two-day visit in Manila. In a wide-ranging talks with President Benigno S. Aquino III, as well as the secretaries for foreign affairs, transport and communication, and labor and employment, Sekimizu expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by the Philippine government to provide a continuous supply of competent seafarers to the global shipping community. He also affirmed IMO's commitment to provide the Philippines with assistance in all aspects of its maritime development, including the fields of education, training, and certification of seafarers under the STCW Convention. The Secretary-General spoke of his vision of a wider approach to technical co-operation, which would be based directly on the identification, through detailed country profiles, of the individual maritime needs of each developing country. He further promised IMO's support for the Philippines' efforts to formulate a national maritime transport strategy, which would provide a springboard for the development of maritime clusters in the country, comprising seafaring, ship building and repair, and ship management. Sekimizu and Transportation and Communication Sec.Mar Roxas agreed to establish an informal channel of communication between IMO and the Philippine government, specifically to address any matters arising from the implementation of the STCW Convention and the 2010 Manila amendments, with a view to improving the mechanism for addressing certification issues. Emphasizing IMO's determination to improve counter-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia, the Secretary-General extended an invitation to the Philippines to send a delegation to the forthcoming Capacity-building Conference on Counter-Piracy, to be held at IMO on 15 May, followed by a High Level Segment on the opening day, 16 May 2012 of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), to discuss the issue of arms on board ships. …