LONDON, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017: Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, today deposited Jamaica’s Instrument of Accession to the Ballast Water Management Convention, at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), London.
During a courtesy call on Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Minister Johnson Smith said “it is an honour and a pleasure to deposit this Instrument of Accession as it demonstrates Jamaica’s commitment to proper management of our oceans and our recognition of the environmental and health implications of ballast water management”.
Minister Johnson highlighted Jamaica’s commitment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, Goal 14 – Life below water. She shared with the Secretary General, the many positive developments in Jamaica’s maritime industry, including Jamaica’s impressive maritime infrastructure, as well as the expansion of its trans-shipment Hub and Port which is being developed along the Special Economic Zone. Mention was also made of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) which will be accorded University status later this month. Graduates of CMI include seafarers and cadets who are well respected and are in high demand internationally.
The IMO Secretary General commended Jamaica on its active role and involvement in the IMO, as well as the invaluable contribution of Rear Admiral (Retd.) Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and Jamaica’s Special Envoy to the IMO. Mr. Lim also informed Minister Smith that efforts are being made to strengthen relations between the IMO and the International Seabed Authority (ISA), with Headquarters located in Jamaica.
Jamaica has presented and is actively lobbying support for its candidature for election to the Council of the IMO, Category “C” for the period 2018-2019. The elections are scheduled to be held during the 30th Regular Session of the IMO Assembly in London, December 2017. Election to the Council would provide Jamaica with inter alia the opportunity to continue to champion and defend the interests of the Caribbean region and other smaller states, as well as contribute to the development and effective implementation of relevant rules and standards in international shipping.
The International Convention for the Control of and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (otherwise called the Ballast Water Management Convention) which was adopted in 2004, aims to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships’ ballast water and sediments. Sixty-five (65) countries have so far acceded to the Convention.
Minister Johnson Smith was accompanied by H.E. Seth George Ramocan, High Commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom and Miss Carol Lee-Lea, Counsellor, Jamaican High Commission.