IMO to open regional office in Fiji to serve the Pacific

IMO HQ London

IMO will open its seventh Regional Presence Office, in Suva, Fiji, to serve countries and territories in the Pacific Islands region.

IMO Secretary-General Mr. Arsenio Dominguez and the Minister for Public Works, Meteorological Services and Transport of the Republic of Fiji, Honourable Ro Filipe Tuisawau, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the IMO Headquarters in London on 18 March, confirming the arrangement.

The Regional Presence Office will support the maritime needs and priorities of countries in the Pacific Islands region, aligning IMO actions with national and regional development policies, while providing advice on key maritime issues such as training, safety and security, legislation and marine environment. The Office will facilitate active field-level engagement in the delivery of IMO’s technical cooperation framework.

On behalf of the Fijian Government, Honourable Tuisawau said: “The IMO Pacific Regional Presence Office provides an opportunity to address critical issues, including the challenge of providing an efficient inter-island shipping service, to ensure the safety of our Pacific people in inter-island shipping.

“As host of this regional office, Pacific Member States will be assisted in addressing global standards for ships, and compliance issues related to energy efficiency, safety equipment and maintenance of safety systems according to IMO standards.”

Pacific Island governments have highlighted the need for more opportunities in the sector, especially for young people, including certification for seafarers and wider employment prospects.

IMO Secretary-General Dominguez said: “I welcome this opportunity to enhance the global presence of the IMO as well as our ability to work in step with the Pacific region and Member States. In addition to Fiji as host country, I would like to thank the Governments of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands for their generous financial and in-kind support which has helped make this collaboration a reality.”

The new office in Suva will be IMO’s seventh Regional Presence Office, to be headed by a Regional Coordinator. It will complement existing offices in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire for West and Central Africa (Francophone); Accra, Ghana for West and Central Africa (Anglophone); Nairobi, Kenya for Eastern and Southern Africa; Manila, the Philippines for East Asia; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago for the Caribbean; and Alexandria, Egypt for the Middle East and North Africa.

There are 14 IMO Member States in the Pacific Islands region, including Australia and New Zealand. Twelve of them are small island developing States (SIDS), three of which are categorized as least developed countries (LDCs).

Source: IMO