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From November 27 to December 6, the 30th Regular Session of IMO Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was held in London, England as scheduled. During the assembly, IMO held the launching ceremony of the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Center Network. Mr. Jin Yongxing, Chairman of SMU Council, was invited to attend the ceremony and signed the Memorandum of Cooperation of the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Center Network on behalf of MTCC-Asia.
Speaking at the signing, IMO Secretary-General Mr. Kitack Lim offered his congratulations to all five MTCC representatives, MTCC host institutions, host countries and regions, the European Union, and the IMO Team for the rapid progress made in forming the GMN since the project was first mooted two years ago. “The GMN project brings together two of the most important themes that IMO and its member states are pursuing as we move into a new era. These are developing new and innovative technology and building the necessary capacity, the latter especially directed to the developing world, to be in a position to take up that technology and then use it to its best advantage,” Mr. Lim said.
In a separate meeting with Chairman Jin Yongxing, Secretary-General Kitack Lim fully affirmed the achievements made by MTCC-Asia since its foundation in Shanghai Maritime University. He hoped that MTCC-Asia would continue to conduct in-depth maritime technical specifications and policy studies, participate in the construction of international maritime standards and norms, play a leading and exemplary role in Asia and even wider areas and become the leader of the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centers.
After the launching ceremony of the Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centers, Mr. Jin Yongxing, Chairman of MTCC-Asia and Prof. Ruan Wei, Director of MTCC-Asia, participated in a four-day conference on maritime technology research and capacity-building with MTCC representatives in other four regions in the world (Caribbean, Latin America, Pacific Ocean and Africa).
The MTCCs are expected to provide leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships. Through collaboration and outreach activities at regional level, the MTCCs will help countries develop national maritime energy-efficiency policies and measures, promote the uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport and establish voluntary pilot data-collection and reporting systems. These are also supports for the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. MTCC-Asia, hosted by Shanghai Maritime University, was the first institution in China's shipping industry that was commissioned by IMO to perform part of its international maritime development functions and assist its implementation of the global development strategy. The project has been included in the achievements of the First Session of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China and the action plan of Bridgehead for Shanghai to serve the country's Belt and Road construction. At this Assembly, MTCC-Asia received wide attention from domestic and foreign delegates, fully demonstrating its role and influence in the maritime community in China and Asia.
Mr. He Jianzhong, Vice Minister of Ministry of Transport, delivered a significant speech entitled Chinese Wisdom Contributing to Global Maritime Governance at the IMO Assembly. He said that as a responsible great developing country, Chinese government attaches great importance to and actively participates in various tasks of the IMO. In particular, Ministry of Transport of People’s Republic of China and IMO signed the Letter of Intent on Promoting the Effective Implementation of the IMO Documents through the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative in May this year and set up MTCC-Asia in Shanghai to make unremitting efforts towards the goal of “safe, green and efficient shipping”.
At the international maritime reception attended by ambassadors, counselors from different countries and heads of relevant international agencies, Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, delivered a speech entitled Promoting International Maritime Cooperation, Building Community of Common Destiny. He pointed out that MTCC-Asia, which was authorized by IMO, was formally established in Shanghai. This not only provided a new platform for the application and cooperation of international maritime technologies but also demonstrated the continuous and deepened cooperation between China and IMO.
During the election of Category (a) of IMO Council, Mr. Zhang Xiaojie, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Transport, on behalf of China, mentioned in his Campaign statements that China has continuously improved its global capabilities in maritime governance, strengthened the building of a global maritime governance partnership and continuously enhanced compliance ability. The settlement of MTCC-Asia in China could provide technical training and promotion so as to enable maritime stakeholders to share the achievements of maritime governance and expand the universal and effective application of the IMO Convention in the world.
Mr. Leng Thun Yuthea, Deputy Secretary of State for Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Cambodia, thanked IMO and MTCC-Asia for their maritime technology cooperation project in Cambodia. He announced that the Cambodia Branch of MTCC-Asia will be launched in mid-December. The Cambodia Branch would carry out cooperative promotion and capacity building of maritime technologies in Cambodia and neighboring countries to improve its ability to implement relevant international conventions. It would host various activities to effectively publicize the related work achievements of MTCC-Asia.
IMO Assembly is the highest governing body. The Assembly normally meets once every two years in regular session. It is responsible for approving the work programme, voting the budget and determining the financial arrangements of the Organization. It also elects the Organization’s 40-Member Council. China has been reelected as a member of Category (a) of IMO Council at this Assembly and voted as the chairman unit of the IMO Council. This reflected the high recognition of China by the international community in the field of maritime affairs.
During the Assembly, Chairman Jin Yongxing also attended the conference on related issues as Chairman of the International Maritime Lecturers Association (IMLA), one of the IMO official consultant groups, and respectively paid visits to heads of Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, Technical Co-operation Committee and other relevant committees.