Mr. Koji Sekimizu,
Secretary General, International Maritime Organization (IMO), London
called on Shri G.K.Vasan, Minister of Shipping in New Delhi yesterday.
During the meeting, the Minister drew the attention of the Secretary
General to the issue of 43 Indian seafarers who are in captivity of
Somali pirates. He also stressed the need for Counter Piracy Measures to
be taken and requested for the intervention of the IMO for early release
of the Indian seafarers.
The Minister also brought to the attention of the Secretary General that
the High Risk Area extended from 65 deg E to 78 Deg East in December,
2010 for heightened state of alertness to ward off any approaching
“pirate skiff” has resulted in increased shipping traffic closer to
Indian western Coast and thus causing unprovoked firing incidents on
innocent fishermen on mistaken identity leading to loss of lives.
The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the IMO is a large body, as a
result of which Piracy related issues do not get focused attention of
the MSC. The Minister, therefore, suggested that IMO may consider
constituting a Sub-Committee on Piracy under MSC to deal with piracy
related issues in a wider scale, having members from major piracy
affected nations as well as major flag states.
The Minister also added that though India fully recognizes the relevance
of sustainable shipping and the urgent need for addressing the issue of
GHG emission from ships, a need is felt for a balanced, fair and
effective initiative from IMO in addressing GHG emissions from ships, in
consistence with the climate change regime under the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol.
The Minister sought assistance of the IMO for promotion of technical
co-operation and technology transfer relating to the improvement of the
energy efficiency of ships. He also requested for assistance of the IMO
for providing mandatory training for the Indian seafarers in ships from
IMO Member countries who pass out from maritime training institutes and
for utilizing the skilled manpower available in Indian Maritime
Administration as Technical Consultants/Assistants, auditors etc. in
various projects / programmes undertaken by the IMO in its Member
The Minister also requested the Secretary General, IMO for considering
cooperation between Indian Maritime University (IMU) and World Maritime
University (WMU) for development of the IMU.
Mr. Sekimizu assured to extend all possible assistance to India. The
International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the
United Nations, responsible for measures to improve the safety and
security of international shipping and to prevent marine pollution from
ships. It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and
compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime