Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) H.E. Antonio M. Lagdameo was elected as president of the 32nd IMO Assembly during its opening session this morning (6 December 2021) at the IMO Headquarters in London. It is the first time in IMO’s history that the Philippines was elected as President of the Assembly.

Ambassador Lagdameo was nominated by the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom and seconded by the representative of South Africa. The Permanent Representatives of Italy and Namibia were also elected as first vice-President and Second Vice President, respectively. In thanking delegations for their support, Ambassador Lagdameo noted that his election comes at a year in which seafarers are recognized at the heart of shipping. He said that it is an acknowledgment and endorsement of the commitment that the Philippines has made to the objectives and work of the Organization.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in his remarks during the opening session, outlined the accomplishments of the Organization for the past two years and highlighted that through and beyond the pandemic, sustainable transport will be at the heart of global recovery. He noted that the World Maritime Theme for 2021 is “Seafarers at the core of shipping’s future” and that throughout the year, the IMO has promoted the important role of seafarers for shipping and world trade.

The Assembly is IMO’s highest governing body and all 174 member states and three associate members are entitled to attend, as are the intergovernmental organizations with which agreements of co-operation have been concluded, and non-governmental organizations in consultative status with IMO. The Assembly normally meets once every two years in regular session It is responsible for approving the arrangements of the Organization. It also elects the Council.

Elections for members of the Council will be held later this week, with the Philippines running for re-election. The Assembly session will conclude on 15 December 2021 while the Council will meet on the 16 December 2021 immediately after the Assembly session.