Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), attended the most recent meeting of Senior Arctic Officials in Yellowknife, Canada. He gave a presentation on the IMO’s work towards completion of a mandatory Polar Code and welcomed strengthened collaboration with the Arctic Council in the future.

Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, attended the most recent meeting of Senior Arctic Officials in Yellowknife, Canada. This is the first time that the IMO Secretary General has joined an Arctic Council meeting.

In his remarks, Mr. Sekimizu discussed the IMO’s ongoing work towards the completion of a mandatory Polar Code, which would set binding requirements for safe Arctic shipping, appropriate to the severe environmental conditions of the region. The Polar Code is expected to address a wide range of issues such as ship design, construction, equipment, operations, training, search and rescue and environmental matters. The Secretary General highlighted the importance of ensuring that development of maritime economic activity in the Arctic is undertaken sustainably, protecting the lives and livelihoods of Arctic inhabitants and the Arctic environment. 

In addition to sharing a story of his own time on Arctic waters aboard the Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, Mr. Sekimizu highlighted the complementarity of the work done within the Arctic Council on issues of safe Arctic marine shipping. He encouraged further close cooperation between the Arctic Council and the IMO in the future.  Mr. Sekimizu’s remarks were well received by Council members.

The Secretary General also wrote about the occasion on his blog.

The text version of his presentation is posted here.

 

Photo: Mikael Anzen. Photo caption: Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization during his speech.