Turkish Embassy in London

Speeches

Sayın Büyükelçimizin IMO Genel Kurulu Başkanlığına seçilmesini müteakip yaptıkları konuşma, 25.11.2013

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. ÜNAL ÇEVIKÖZ
AMBASSADOR EXTRAORDINARY AND PLENIPOTENTIARY OF TURKEY
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
TO THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION
PRESIDENT OF THE TWENTY-EIGHTH REGULAR SESSION OF THE IMO ASSEMBLY
TO THE TWENTY-EIGHTH REGULAR SESSION OF THE ASSEMBLY
OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION

London, 25 November 2013

Secretary-General, Your Excellency the outgoing President of the Assembly, Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, distinguished delegates and observers,

On behalf of the Government of Turkey, may I say how deeply honoured I am to be elected to the high office of President of this twenty-eighth Assembly of IMO. Turkey became a Member of IMO more than 50 years ago and I know that your trusting me with the presidency of this august body is a recognition of my country's strong and unswerving commitment to the objectives and ideals of the Organization. I accept the honour with gratitude and humility.

I would like to thank IMO's host nation, the United Kingdom, for nominating me and Mexico for seconding – and also thank all the Member States for supporting my election.

My warm congratulations go to my immediate predecessor, Mr. Eduardo Medina-Mora, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mexico to the Court of St. James's, for the diligent manner in which he served as President of the last Assembly and during the two years since then – I hope that I will be able to live up to the fine example he has set. May I also take this opportunity to express my deepest sympathy and condolence to the people of the Philippines because of the disastrous calamity they have lived through recently due to typhoon Haiyan.

Distinguished delegates,

This biennial Assembly provides the opportunity for all the Member States to review the work of the Organization and judge how it has responded to the demands made of it and to the challenges that confront the maritime and shipping communities; and, in particular, how it has discharged its responsibilities as the body responsible for promoting better safety and security standards for international shipping as well as for reducing its harmful impact on both the marine and atmospheric environments.

Over the years, IMO has been able to take those challenges and use them as opportunities to elevate the industry's safety, security and environmental record to ever higher levels. But we must never rest on our achievements; we must always be aware of the obstacles that still remain and, moreover, new and emerging issues, such as navigation in Polar regions and institutionalization of IMO Member State audit scheme, must be addressed.

During this Assembly, it will be our task to assess and approve the work the Organization has undertaken during the past biennium. We will be asked to consider and adopt a number of resolutions on technical and other matters, all of which are the fruits of an enormous amount of detailed work carried out in committees, sub-committees and in working, drafting and correspondence groups that apply themselves so diligently and painstakingly during the course of IMO's regular work. I am sure you will wish to join me in conveying our appreciation to all those who participate in this considerable effort.

We will also be asked to consider and approve the Organization's plans for its work in the future. Our task will be to confirm that the Organization is on track, to apply fine adjustment as may be necessary and, importantly, to make sure that the Organization's goals and objectives are matched by the provision of appropriate resources, taking into account financial situations surrounding Member Governments.

As an Organization, we have fully embraced the idea that complete and effective implementation of existing measures is vital if we are to continue achieving long-term improvements in safety, security and environmental protection. This is in all our interests and I would especially ask you, the Member States, to keep it at the forefront of your minds as you conduct your business during this meeting.

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Honourable colleagues, distinguished delegates,

This Organization can take pride in a long list of major achievements, the positive benefit of which is felt every day: not only by seafarers, for whom an intrinsically dangerous professional calling becomes demonstrably safer year after year, but also by the world's population as a whole, who enjoy the double benefit of having the global economy supported by a bulk-delivery mechanism that continues to become both cleaner and more efficient.

A major part of our role, as the governing body of IMO, is to ensure that the Organization remains equipped with the tools, the structure and the status it needs to regulate the shipping community effectively and thereby enable it to face the future with confidence.

I look forward to working with all of you and the Secretary-General and his able staff, and to the fruitful outcome of the many deliberations to come in our quest for permanent and workable solutions to the many diverse problems that we face together.

Distinguished delegates and observers, ladies and gentlemen, I know I can count on your support and cooperation to see that this Assembly concludes its business successfully.

Thank you.