The profile for IFSMA is rising and the name is being used more often in different circles. The IMO Secretariat has approached us to conduct a survey amongst Masters about documentation and create statistics from it to present at the next FAL Committee meeting, scheduled for next year.
It is with sadness that I report on the passing of Dr. C. P. Srivastava, Honorary Member. It is always sad to hear of another Member passing away, but instead of the loss we should all remember his life and what he achieved in it.
Technical Co-Operation Committee (TC) 63rd Session 10 – 12 July 2013
IFSMA did not attend the Technical Co-Operation Committee
Council 110th Session 15 – 19 July 2013
Captain John Dickie - Secretary General
The main thrust of this Council was on the cost of running the IMO and trying to balance the books. The Secretary-General of the IMO had prepared extensive papers not only about changes to come into effect but also about the welfare of the employees of the IMO.
2014 will see a reduction in the number of Sub-committees from 9 to 7, and a new schedule for the meetings where the 2 Sub-committees that will be lost have their workload spread among other sub-committees. IFSMA supports such a move and the Secretary-General’s Vision for the future.
NGOs are being focused on, and there are different points of view on how they should be applied. What is certain is the fact that they must be international and probably global in coverage. They must attend the IMO and they should be presenting papers or co-sponsoring papers, and taking part in groups.
It has been muted that NGOs should pay to attend the IMO and this will prove to be an interesting point. The question has to be asked is that if we are paying to attend do we have a vote?
Information Paper #2 was raised by South Korea and asked a lot of questions about NGOs, although many of the statistics quoted were not quite accurate. The reason behind this was in respect of the European Shipbuilders being present at the IMO. This is a regional NGO and not a global one; so in some respects does not meet the criteria laid down by the IMO. The paper was not well received by the NGOs, not because of the point being raised but because so many of the statistics included were not fully accurate.
It is important to note that it is going to be harder for NGOs to be given status at the IMO, and furthermore those who are not contributing to the IMO by attending meetings and playing an active part may find their accreditation at risk.
IFSMA does not fall into this category, but care must be taken to ensure that its profile and activities are noted.
In some ways this meeting was a reflection of how IFSMA will need to be operated, and through conversations with many other NGOs etc. it is apparent that everyone is having to rethink how their organization works and the cost of running it.
The Secretary-General made special note in respect of LEG 100 in respect of the paper for the collation and preservation of evidence. This was a paper that IFSMA put a lot of work into and in particular special note should be given to Charles Boyle, Director of Legal Affairs, Nautilus International (UK) for the time, effort and support that he gave to make sure that this paper was revised and became something to be proud of and which could be taken forward.
There were many other points that were raised and discussed, but one point that should be noted is that of the work that is conducted by the IMO Secretariat above and beyond their remit. It is by this unselfish attitude that so much is accomplished and continues to do so.
NGO GROUP MEETING
There were a number of responses after the meeting and all of the feedback was positive. So hopefully the next meeting at the end of this year will see it grow.
There has been a request from the International Salvage Union (ISU) to join the group.
SEAFARERS’ RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL (SRI)
Others topics that are being progressed are criminal cases such The Master of the Maas Trader in jail in Panama. The Master in jail in Spain who has terminal cancer and trying to have his sentenced commuted on humanitarian grounds. There is also the matter of 2 Masters in prison in Sao Tome and Principe (Gulf of Guinea).
We need to progress human rights of seafarers throughout the maritime industry.
Maritime Piracy: Human Response Programme (MPHRP)
NAUTICAL INSTITUTE (NI)
There are discussions on-going with GlobalMET in respect of a possible one day conference/seminar immediately after the M&T Conference. This would be in conjunction with AMUSOP; updates will follow as this is firmed up.
INTERNATIONAL MARINE PILOTS’ ASSOCATION (IMPA)
Hanson Wade Conference – Security in Challenging Environments (28-31 October)
Honorary Members’ Lunch – 25 September 2013
A number of individual members have outstanding fees. This is being followed up and appropriate action will be taken.
AGA 40 - SandeFjord, Norway
President Christer Lindvall has been leading this case and has now requested that the Secretariat use its connections and influence to build up support to try and obtain the release of these two Masters.
The information that is available at this time would indicate that this is a miscarriage of justice, and the prison that these two Masters find themselves in is reported to be one of the worst in the world.
This case will use a lot of resources but it is believed that IFSMA cannot ignore what has taken place. It must be stated that neither Master is a member of IFSMA or a Member of their National Associations.
It should be noted that both ships and the crews are still under arrest in Sao Tome waters. All crew members face the possibility of being arrested.
Progress Report: IMPA has assisted us on this matter. The case was circulated to all Member Associations and the French Pilots’ Association took this up with the French Shipowners who have now had it forwarded to the French Government to see if any action can be taken. This action is really appreciated by all concerned and it shows how the relationship of IFSMA with other NGOs is assisting in progressing matters.
Review of Statutes and Bye-Laws
No changes will be made without them being presented at the AGA and voted on. It is hoped that this can be achieved by March 2014 and circulated to the membership for review before the AGA so that everyone is aware of the proposals and the effect on membership and the way the association is run.
Captain John W. Dickie