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The Bahamas launches its campaign for re-election to the IMO Council

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) was privileged to host The Bahamas Minister of Transport and Housing, Honorable Jobeth Coleby-Davis MP, and the newly appointed Bahamas Ambassador to the IMO, Paul Rolle, who were both present in the UK to launch The Bahamas’ campaign for re-election to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council and to present Ambassador Rolle’s formal accreditation.  The IMO Council is the Organisation’s Executive body and Ambassador Rolle’s appointment reaffirms The Bahamas commitment to the IMO’s strategic objectives to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient, and sustainable shipping through cooperation.

The Bahamas Minister of Transport and Housing, Honorable Jobeth Coleby-Davis MP,

Minister Coleby- Davis and Ambassador Rolle were joined by the BMA Board Deputy Chairman, Peter John Goulandris, and BMA Managing Director and CEO, Captain Dwain Hutchinson, for a constructive meeting with IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, who also accepted The Bahamas IMO member state assessment contribution for 2022. The Bahamas is proud to have been a significant financial contributor to the IMO for many years.

During the launch reception held on 01 March 2023, the Minister addressed a large audience from the diplomatic community based in London including The Bahamas High Commission and the BMA team.  She expressed support for the role of the IMO as the global maritime regulator and stressed the importance to The Bahamas, and the other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), of the IMO’s environmental efforts to combat climate change in line with UN Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 13 – Climate Action, and SDG 14 – Life below the water.

The Minister reaffirmed The Bahamas’ commitment to the enforcement of the Environment Protection  Convention –  MARPOL  – which, like The Bahamas, is in its 50th year. The Bahamas supports the Environment being the Maritime theme for 2023 in recognition of the MARPOL Convention that is aimed at maintaining the oceans while also preventing the destruction and degradation of marine habitats.  The Minister highlighted that as an archipelagic country, The Bahamas plays a unique role within the IMO Council, representing these Small Island Developing States as they face existential threats from climate change

The importance of collaboration was also raised, with The Bahamas pro-actively engaging with strategic partners including its shipowners to develop effective regulations and standards that can be adopted and enforced by the IMO member states. The Bahamas has a history of taking a leading role in areas related to safety, security, environment, and the human element within not only the IMO but also at other international intergovernmental bodies such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and regionally at the Caribbean Port State Control Committee.

Finally, the Minister addressed the vital role of the human element in maritime and highlighted the input of The Bahamas into capacity-building efforts through its support of the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), World Maritime University (WMU), and its own cadet corps, the Bahamas Marine Cadet Corps (BMCC). Its support of gender equality in line with SDG 5 within the industry can also be seen with the appointments that it has made with the current Minister and Chairman of The BMA being both females.  At a capacity-building level, there is a greater percentage of female cadets who are excelling in their studies.

With its maritime heritage and long-standing leadership within the global maritime sector, The Bahamas once again offers a wealth of experience and dedication to the IMO and the greater industry and hopes that its candidature will be successful.