The IMO Council held its 33rd Meeting in Extraordinary Session, remotely, on Thursday 8 April 2021 under the coordination of the Acting Chair, Mr Edmundo Deville del Campo of PERU.
PARTICIPANTS. All Council Members that had registered on the Online Meeting Registration System (OMRS) and were listed as participants in the remote session were deemed to be “present” within the rules of procedure of the Council, and in accordance with the interim guidance to facilitate remote sessions of the IMO Council during the COVID-19 pandemic .
CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT AMENDMENTS TO THE IMO CONVENTION RELATED TO COUNCIL REFORM AND ASSOCIATED DRAFT ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION.
Two major documents were submitted for consideration:
C/ES.33/3, containing the report of the Intersessional Working Group on Council Reform. The parts of the report of the Working Group pertaining to the draft amendments to the IMO Convention were approved by the Council, in general; and,
C/ES.33/3/1, containing the draft amendments to the IMO Convention related to the Council size, distribution, term and quorum, and associated draft Assembly resolution, as well as draft amendments on the authentic languages of the IMO Convention. Following consideration of the draft amendments, the Council:
- approved the draft amendments to Articles 16, 17, 18, 19(b) and 81 of the IMO Convention and the associated draft Assembly resolution, including editorial amendments agreed during the session, and in particular agreed that draft article 18 of the IMO Convention should read “Members represented on the Council in accordance with Article 16 shall hold office until the end of the next two consecutive regular sessions of the Assembly [formerly one]. Members shall be eligible for re-election”, also, Arabic, Chinese and Russian should be added as authentic languages of the IMO Convention in Article 81 of the Convention;
- recommended the approved draft amendments to the IMO Convention to the Assembly for adoption; and,
- instructed the Secretary-General to circulate the draft Assembly resolution on the amendments to the IMO Convention, with the draft amendments in an annex, to all Members at least six months in advance of the thirty-second session of the Assembly, with a view to adoption.
The Council noted a statement by the United States that:
- whilst not intending to delay the approval or circulation of the draft amendments to the IMO Convention, it dissociated itself from the approval of the draft amendments to Articles 16, 17, 18, and 19(b) until such time as domestic processes were completed; and,
- opposed recommending the proposed amendments to Article 81 to the Assembly prior to the preparation of the consolidated versions of the Convention in the three new languages and the opportunity to review them.
DRAFT RESOLUTION A.XXX(32) adopted on X December 2021.
In essence, the draft resolution invites Assembly to:
- Adopt amendments to Articles 16, 17, 18, 19(b) and 81 of the IMO Convention in the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish languages, each text being equally authentic;
- Requests the Secretary-General of IMO to deposit the adopted amendments with the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with Article 72 of the IMO Convention and to receive instruments of acceptance and declarations as provided for in Article 73;
- Invites the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for the purposes of Article 72 of the IMO Convention, to transmit certified copies of the present resolution and the text of the amendments to all Parties to the IMO Convention;
- Invites the Members of the Organisation to accept these amendments at the earliest possible date after receiving copies thereof by communicating the appropriate instrument of acceptance to the Secretary-General of IMO in accordance with Article 73 of the Convention; and,
- Requests the Secretary-General of IMO, in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to prepare a consolidated version of the IMO Convention in the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish languages incorporating all amendments in force, for adoption by the Assembly at its thirty-third regular session.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONVENTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANISATION.
Replace the text of Article 16 with:
“The Council shall be composed of fifty-two Members elected by the Assembly.”
Replace the text of Article 17 with:
“In electing the Members of the Council, the Assembly shall observe the following criteria:
- Twelve shall be States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services;
- Twelve shall be other States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade;
- Twenty-eight shall be States not elected under (a) or (b) above which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.”
[Note: The current Council consists of 40 Member States comprising ten Members in categories (a) and (b) together with twenty Members in category (c), a total of forty.]
Replace the text of Article 18 with:
“Members represented on the Council in accordance with Article 16 shall hold office until the end of the next two consecutive regular sessions of the Assembly. Members shall be eligible for re-election.”
Replace the text of Article 19(b) with:
“(b) Thirty-four Members of the council shall constitute a quorum.” [up from twenty-six]
Entry into force
In Article 81, replace the words “of which the English, French and Spanish texts are equally authentic” with “of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic”.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING.
A meeting of the full Council will take place (C 125) from Monday 28 June until Friday 2 July 2021.
Captain Paddy McKnight