Mr. Seyed Ataollah Sadr*
Thank you Mr. President
First of all, I would like to congratulate the election of H.E. Mr. Medina Mora as president of IMO Assembly
Mr. President, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
As the head of delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is my great pleasure to be here with you and to address this honorable assembly.
The IMO Assembly is a forum allowing member states and all relative bodies to consider the important topics and challenges of maritime industry and to make appropriate decisions, in a quite technical and at the same time intimate environment.
Nowadays, IMO is involved in many crucial issues and challenges in maritime sectors. Amongst these important issues and within this limited time, I would like to highlight only three subjects for which, we seek for your kind attention.
As we all know, the theme for 2011 international maritime day is “Piracy; Orchestrating the response”. This is to sensitize stakeholders to the issue and attract the closer attention of all parties involved, in particular politicians, to take all necessary actions towards eradication of this catastrophic phenomenon that, still continues to happen with a great negative impact on international maritime trade. Even though many countries including the Islamic Republic of Iran have dispatched naval forces to the piracy infested areas, i.e. the waters of the coast of Somalia and Gulf of Aden, these actions cannot be considered as a final solution. We firmly believe that the best way to solve the problem is to help Somalia in establishing a powerful central government and, at the same time expanding regional co-operation initiatives such as the Djibouti Code of Conduct. The I.R. of Iran fully supports such measures under the auspices of the international Maritime Organization.
Another area of concern is related to the Seafarers. It is regrettable to say that, we still witness unfair treatment in some ports. Discrimination in granting shore leaves and access to port facilities for medical purposes, due to a special nationality or religion, is not acceptable at all and is not in line with human rights. We believe that, the shore leaves and access to medical centers in ports are undeniable rights of seafarers and not just a privilege. The continuation of such unfair treatment proves the lack of clarity and precise regulation in related legally binding instruments. In order to make sure that, a clear and fair balance between the interests of the host countries and the right of seafarers are guaranteed, the Islamic Republic of Iran is currently working on this subject and will put forward its precise proposals to the FAL Committee’s next session.
Last point of global nature is about unfair restrictive practices, affecting shipping engaged in international trade. As it is clearly mentioned in paragraph “b” of article one of IMO Convention, IMO has always encouraged member states to cooperate with each other and, to promote the availability of shipping services to the commerce of the world without discrimination. Therefore it is necessary to avoid all forms of actions and decisions affecting shipping of a member state engaged in global transportation, which are incompatible with international laws and the spirit of IMO. In our opinion, the negative impact of such unilateral or bilateral restrictive practices over other member states would not be less than that of piracy and armed robbery against the ships.
Now, Turning to the activities of the I.R.of Iran in the field of IMO’s business and fulfillment of its commitments, I would like to point out the following issues:
In recent years, the I.R. of Iran effectively and continuously contributed in development of rules and standards stipulated in various IMO’s instruments. The effective and intense activities along with technical cooperation has improved our position to the top 15 member states that submitted most numbers of documents to IMO’s different organs during past two years. For example, just for comprehensive amendment of STCW Convention, about 44 substantial documents have been submitted, and one of the two working groups for such an important project has been chaired by Iran.
The role of Iran in developing IMO instruments is complemented by becoming a party of 31 maritime conventions and protocols, fulfillment of the obligations set out in these instruments, huge investment in both infrastructure and software to enhance its maritime activities and conducting the IMO Audit Scheme in October 2011.
Mr. President, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to conclude my speech by expressing our great thanks and gratitude to H.E Mr. Mitropoulos, whose prominent services at the time of assuming his responsibilities within IMO in different positions, especially 8 years of leadership of this organization are unforgettable. We wish him and his family every success and healthy in their life after long journey of being the captain of the IMO’s ship. We also in advance, congratulate the appointment of new Secretary General of IMO who, by approval of the assembly, will go onboard IMO’s ship to start his four years journey. We would like to see his ship is also moving smoothly and efficiently towards satisfactory achievements at the end of its mission and for the benefit of safer, cleaner and more secure seas.
Thank you Mr. President
*Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development &Managing Director of the Ports and Maritime Organization
(Statement for The 27th Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
IMO Headquarters- London)