Kenya re-elected to top IMO position in London meet

Kenya has been re-elected to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the second time.

Kenya found itself firmly in category C of the IMO Council following a spirited week-long campaign of the Kenyan delegation led by Principal Secretary, State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Ms Nancy Karigithu and a host of senior officers from the country's maritime regulator, Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA).

Confirming the developments, Karigithu in a telephone interview with the Standard on Sunday said that the re-election was a huge delight for Kenya.

"We are hugely delighted to have been tested this way and to be found meriting of the confidence of our peers. We will continue to devote our time, efforts and resources in the development of the safety and security of shipping and sustainable growth of the maritime sector," she said.

Kenya High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Manoah Esipisu, KMA Director General, Major (Rtd) George Okongo' and KMA  board of directors chairman, Mr Godfrey Mwango are also part of the Kenyan delegation.

The IMO Assembly in its 31st edition is meeting in London at the IMO headquarters from November 24, 2019 to December 5, 2019 for its elections and General Assembly for the 2020-2021 biennium.

The IMO Council is the executive organ and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the organisation.

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Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.

Other nations that made it into Category C alongside Kenya which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world include the Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia and Jamaica.

Category C also has Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and the Philipines.

And following the re-election, Seafarers Union of Kenya (SUK) congratulated the government for being steadfast in its quest to revitalise both seafaring and maritime sectors in Kenya.

''We are not yet there. But there is already so much that the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta is doing to give seafaring semblance in the global maritime world,'' Mr Steve Owaki, SUK Secretary-General said.

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