Saudi Arabia first Arab state to ratify IALA Convention

The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) has announced that the Kingdom has officially

signed the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation that transforms the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) from a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to an Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO).

Established in 1957, IALA is an international technical association that aims to ensure the provision of effective and harmonized AtoN systems and services across the world for safe and efficient navigation.

Approved by the Saudi Cabinet, the Kingdom becomes the first Arab state to ratify the IALA Convention. The latest development also coincides with the recent visit by Mawani President, Omar Hariri, to the international body’s headquarters in Paris where he met its Secretary General, Francis Zachariae, to discuss technical cooperation between the two parties.

The Kingdom’s ratification will enable the adoption of best practices and standards for safe navigation in waterways and port areas through the deployment of Marine Aids to Navigation (AtoN) to reduce marine accidents, safeguard life and property at sea, and protect the marine environment. It will further facilitate cooperation with manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, systems, and technologies that cater to marine safety while participating in the formulation and amendment of IALA standards, recommendations, and guidelines.

The national maritime regulator is keen on boosting navigational safety and marine traffic in the Kingdom’s territorial waters and ports through strategic initiatives in partnership with global entities that specialize in setting marine safety standards and conventions.

Photo credit: iStock/eugenesergeev

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