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31st IMO Assembly

Spain consolidates its important position within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a member of its Council

Saturday 30 November 2019

Spain has been re-elected as a member of the Council in Category B, made up of the 10 countries with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. This category saw some competition between countries aspiring to be members of the Council.

The IMO Assembly valued very positively the work that the Spanish delegation had been doing for the Organisation. As a result, Spain's bid for re-election to membership of the IMO Council received majority support as the third most-voted country in its category, firmly consolidating our country's position on the Council.

Spain joined the IMO Council for the first time in 1973, and has maintained its position in Category B since 2001. Today it consolidated this position with 145 votes after the elections held in London by the Assembly, in which 164 delegations from the IMO member states took part.

Spain would like to express its thanks to all the countries that have placed their confidence in its bid. It is now ready to tackle its future work on the IMO Council with renewed vigour.

Following his meeting with the Secretary-General of the IMO, Mr Kitack Lim, on 25 November, the Acting Minister for Public Works, José Luis Ábalos, took part in the inaugural plenary session of the IMO Assembly at which more than 1,500 delegates took part, and where Spain's important role in the UN agency's key management bodies for international maritime regulation was confirmed.

In his speech, the acting minister recalled Spain's involvement with and commitment to the improvement of maritime safety conditions, as can be seen in the recent Ministerial Conference in Torremolinos on Fishing Vessel Safety; and to the ecological transition, the digital revolution of the economy, equality between men and women and the fight against social inequality; without forgetting a clear reference to the need to find international solutions that improve the ongoing humanitarian challenge of migration by sea, to ensure that it is safer, more orderly and regulated.

Spain's continued membership of the IMO Council over the period 2020-2021 will maintain the Spanish delegation's leading position on matters as important as the sustainability of the maritime sector, contributing an outlook of openness and solidarity and offering a broad programme of technical cooperation for the benefit of countries that require greater capacity to implement the IMO instruments. Spain will contribute its extensive experience as a country with a historic maritime tradition during the two-year period, a time that will include the commemoration of the 5th centenary of the first journey round the world by Magallanes/Elcano. Spain will also take a lead in the maritime sector's adaptation to the new challenges linked to the sustainability of the planet and the development of new technologies such as interconnectivity and artificial intelligence, with the aim of promoting quality, sustainable and accessible mobility, which respects the Sustainable Development Goals and constitutes one of the priorities for the Ministry of Public Works.

Non official translation