Maritime transport is essential to the world’s economy as over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea and it is, by far, the most cost-effective way to move en masse goods and raw materials around the world.
Maritime activity has a key role to play in the alleviation of extreme poverty and hunger as it already provides an important source of income and employment for many developing countries, such as the supply of seagoing personnel and ship recycling, shipowning and operating, shipbuilding and repair and port services, among others.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations (UN) system’s regulatory agency for the maritime sector. Its global mandate is “safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans”. IMO pursues that mandate by adopting international maritime rules and standards that are then implemented and enforced by Governments in the exercise of flag, port and coastal State jurisdiction.
IMO’s rules and standards are accepted by Governments and the global shipping industry because they provide a single, universal framework governing maritime operations and ensure the efficient, safe and environmentally friendly carriage of global trade.
Another significant issue being dealt with is how IMO can make a positive contribution to the achievement of the MDGs. It has been identified that IMO’s technical co-operation activities can contribute to at least five of the MDGs. It can help to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to promote gender equality and empower women; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; to ensure environmental sustainability; and to develop a global partnership for development.Preferences in private sector partnership
Many developing countries cannot yet give full and complete effect to IMO’s instruments. For this reason and, as mandated by the Convention that created IMO, the Organization has established an Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP), with the sole purpose of assisting countries in building up their human and institutional capacities for uniform and effective compliance with the Organization’s regulatory framework.
By fostering capacity-building in the maritime sector, the ITCP helps countries to ensure safe, secure and effective shipping services and protect their waters and coasts from the environmental degradation caused by ships and other maritime-related activities. IMO’s technical co-operation programme contributes, therefore, to sustainable socio-economic development.
IMO’s technical co-operation activities are conceived and developed through partnerships for progress between recipient countries, resource-providers and the Organization.
Every two years, the Organization revises the ITCP, which contains global and regional programmes covering the following developing geographical regions:
- Arab States and Mediterranean;
- Asia and Pacific Islands;
- Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe; and
- Latin America and Caribbean.
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