18Apr2014Headlines:

A Brief on IMO

IMO is also known as the International Maritime organization. It is a specialized agency that was started by the United Nations organisation with the sole intention of better protection being provided to the ships and prevention of marine pollution. It was started in 1948 in an international conference in Geneva. The original name was Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization or IMCO and later in 1982 was named as IMO.

Sea is a risky place to be in. Every year lots of accidents happen in the sea. Many people lose their lives. Even the aquatic life suffers due to these mishaps. Keeping these in mind the United Nations decided that the importance of seafarers and their contributions must be recognised. There should be a body that would regulate and control these ships on the high sea and ensure that they are safe. IMO has many guidelines and regulations let for the ships and the shipping nations.

There are guidelines for carrying inflammable substances. Guidelines for how the ships should be maintained so that the basic hygiene in the ships is maintained.

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The IMO has made a great contribution in controlling the pirates in the sea. Every year huge amount of cargo was lost in the sea. Considering this the IMO has made some guidelines that ensure that the ships are protected and the pirates are caught and punished. This made the sea a much safer place to be in for all. The IMO has brought together s lot of shipping countries and ensures that by cooperation and collaboration the shipping lines become stronger means of trade and commerce for the world.

The IMO has recognized 25th June as the world seafarers day. This day is now celebrated all over the world. This has helped the seafarers to get a good recognition. The importance of the shipping lines and the people involved in shipping is being recognized and acknowledged which is very good. The IMO has made this happen with a lot of hard work and years of planning. The organization of IMO has a defined structure. The main body is the assembly that consists of five main committees that are named as the Legal Committee, the marine Environment Protection Committee; the Technical Co-operation Committee and the Facilitation Committee. These are the top few there are many more small number of Sub-Committees that support the working of the assembly. All the member states have their representation in the assembly. The assembly also elects a council who does other activities like budgeting and financial planning. This body is elected every two years. There are regular sessions held for electing this council but if the need arises an emergency meeting can also be called for.

This is a brief history of the IMO and what it has done for the shipping lines and the people working as seafarers. The job done is commendable and the organization plans to make the sea a more protected and secure place for the seafarers. They have also done a lot in protecting the marine life and the environment.

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Sat Watson, from Tamil Nadu, an ex Navy person and currently writing and leading peaceful retired life

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