Argentina and Brazil have been elected as members States of the International Maritime Organization Council for the 2020/21 biennium. IMO is holding its 31st Assembly meeting in London at IMO Headquarters until December 4.
All 174 Member States and three Associate Members are entitled to attend the Assembly, which is IMO's highest governing body. The Assembly normally meets once every two years in regular session. It is responsible for approving the work program, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the Organization. It also elects the Organization's 40-Member Council.
According to the official info, the IMO Assembly elected the following States to be Members of its Council for the 2020-2021 biennium:
Category (a) 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.
Category (b) 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Category (c) 20 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: Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.
The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.
The newly elected Council will meet, following the conclusion of the 31st Assembly, for its 123rd session (on December 5) and will elect its Chair and Vice-Chair for the next biennium.
In a brief comment the Argentine foreign ministry said the election was an acknowledgement from the international community towards Argentina, its contribution to maritime safety and marine environment conservation, and thanked all those countries that had supported her election.
In the framework of IMO, regulations of SAR at sea are decided, which are of fundamental importance for Argentina which has a responsibility area of approximately 14 million square kilometers extending to half of the Atlantic Ocean, and adjacent areas in Antarctica, in cooperation with Chile, among many other maritime activities.
It must be recalled that Argentina was one of six founding states of the first IMO council, and had an intermittent relation, until 2017 when she was removed after 34 years of standing collaboration. At the time it was considered a major diplomatic failure and Argentina has since worked for a comeback.