Report of 29th IMO Assembly | IMO Reports | Annual General Assemblies

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Unity for Safety at Sea

Report of 29th IMO Assembly

Recognition for merchant vessels involved in rescuing mixed migrants at sea

The Assembly commended all merchant vessels and their crew participating in the rescue of mixed migrants at sea for their bravery, professionalism and compassion, upholding the highest traditions of the sea. It requested the Secretary-General to issue special certificates, retroactively from 1 January 2014, to any merchant vessel and its crew participating in the rescue of mixed migrants at sea, recognizing the risks involved to both rescuers and the rescued, in particular in those cases involving multiple survivors.

From January 2014 to December 2015, in the Mediterranean Sea alone, more than 1,200 merchant vessels were diverted from their intended voyage to rescue more than 50,000 mixed migrants in danger of being lost at sea, a number unprecedented in history.

The resolution expressed grave concern about the current worldwide crisis of migration, involving the greatest movement of displaced persons in nearly 70 years. The transport of mixed migrants by sea in grossly overloaded, unsafe vessels has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives.

The latest International Organization for Migration (IOM) statistics record 878,495 arrivals by sea in the Mediterranean during 2015 (to 1 December) with 3,563 people reported dead or missing.

Secretary-General's appointment endorsed

The Assembly endorsed the decision of the Council to elect Mr. Kitack Lim (Republic of Korea) as Secretary-General for an initial four-year term, beginning 1 January 2016 (see Briefing 51/2016).

Election of the IMO Council

The Assembly elected the 40-Member IMO Council for the next biennium 2016 to 2017 (see information below posted on 29/11/2015).

The newly elected Council met on 2 December and re-elected Mr. Jeffrey G. Lantz (United States) as its Chairman.