Malaysia re-elected to IMO Council for ninth consecutive term

Malaysia has been re-elected to one of the 20 seats of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council in Category C of the IMO Assembly for the 2022-2023 biennium.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong who led the delegation to London, said the election result during the 32nd session of the IMO Assembly from December 6 to 15 was Malaysia’s victory for the ninth consecutive term.

“We were one of 27 Member States vying, three more than the previous biennium when there were only 24 IMO Member States contending,” Wee said in a statement on December 10. 

Malaysia was one of 27 member countries that competed and garnered 128 votes out of 159 votes, with one invalid vote and no abstention.

Wee said: “This is also a significant moment for the country in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of Malaysia as an IMO Member State since 1971. Our first term as an IMO Council Member started during the 2006-2007 biennium.  Efforts to ensure that the country maintains this position started at the end of the previous elections, in the midst of the global pandemic.

He added that the country’s efforts, led by the Maritime Division of the Ministry of Transport in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the High Commission in London, have secured a voice for Malaysia in IMO as a leading maritime nation and an important custodian of the globally vital Straits of Malacca.  This will ensure that Malaysia has a voice at the table for discussions and deliberations on international and regional maritime affairs.

According to Wee, the selection is also an honor and responsibility to Malaysia as the shipping industry is one of the important industries in the transportation of goods in the country as well as a catalyst for the country’s economic growth. 

“Ports in Malaysia and its shipping industry play a vital role in the Malaysia’s economic development. The importance of human capital in the shipping and maritime industries will also benefit from Malaysia’s re -election to the IMO Council,” he said.

The re-election hinged on Malaysia’s long-term commitments and contributions to the programs and direction of the IMO and its constituent agencies and the win reflected recognition by the IMO and its member countries for cooperation in maritime safety, environmental protection, welfare and seafarers’ rights, as well as maintaining security of shipping around the world.

Wee said: “In winning the election, Malaysia expresses its deep appreciation to all member countries, partners and colleagues in the IMO Assembly for a fruitful and forward-looking meeting. Their support and cooperation in many matters under the umbrella of the IMO will spur Malaysia’s efforts in developing its maritime and related industries in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our hope as a responsible and committed Council Member is to continue collaborating with the IMO and our fellow Member States in our shared long-term mission to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient, and sustainable shipping for all nations and communities worldwide.” 

The IMO consists of 171 member states and three associate members. The General Assembly of the IMO is the highest governing body of IMO and meets biannually. The executive body for the IMO is the IMO Council, consisting of 40 States appointed by the General Assembly.

Malaysia has been a member of the IMO since 1971 and was successfully elected as a Council Member under Category C since 2005.  As a Council member of the IMO, Malaysia enjoys certain privileges compared to other regular Member States in respect of the appointment of the IMO Secretary General: planning and approving the IMO programs and activities; raising maritime issues during Council Meetings and have voting rights as a Member States. 

Other privileges are approving budget for the IMO programs including determining the IMO annual membership fees and evaluating reports of the main committees during the Council meetings.

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