IMO sets up new department for environment projects

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A new department has been established within the IMO Secretariat to focus on supporting Member States to tackle key global issues in the context of international shipping – and help promote sustainable development.

Operational from 1 March 2020, the Department for Partnerships and Projects aims to enhance and strengthen partnerships with external stakeholders and donor agencies to tackle some of the major global challenges which impinge on today’s maritime world. It becomes the focal point for developing partnerships and coordinating long-term donor-funded projects, as well as implementing IMO’s resource mobilization strategy to strengthen its Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

The new department reflects IMO’s strong and continuing commitment to helping its Member States achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and implement the Organization’s regulatory framework. It will serve as a gateway for partnership opportunities with a wide range of external partners, including IMO Member States, UN agencies, financial institutions, NGOs, IGOs and the private sector. A key objective will be to increase IMO’s existing portfolio of donor-supported long-term projects supporting its technical cooperation objectives. It will promote a culture of collaboration and innovation, creating broader engagement and partnerships with maritime and ocean-related stakeholders.

With the new department, the existing Partnerships and Resource Mobilization team within IMO’s Technical Cooperation Division and the Major Projects team in the Marine Environment Division come together under a single umbrella. The resultant synergy and harmonisation is designed to ensure that IMO Member States are better served.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “For the benefits of sustainable development to be evenly spread, all countries must be able to play a full and active part in maritime activities. Building partnerships is key to this. This new department will help that to happen. It’s very much in line with my vision of a ‘Voyage Together’, where no one is left behind when it comes to the effective implementation of IMO’s global standards.”

The new department will be headed by Jose Matheickal, who brings more than 15 years’ experience of leading and coordinating major projects at IMO, supported by Mr Youngso Kim, who will lead the partnerships function within the new structure.