JOHANNESBURG - SA Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has re-emphasised South Africa’s commitment to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) - a UN specialised agency, whose chief objective is to set international standards for safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping.
Minister Mbalula made his remarks when he delivered his general statement on Monday during the first day of the 122nd session of the IMO Council, which is taking place at the IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
Mbalula said South Africa will continue to uphold the values of the IMO.
“South Africa will continue in advancing the objectives and the imperatives of the IMO by ensuring that ships, cargo and crew on board are safe and secure and that the environment is protected against pollution from ships,” said the minister.
South Africa also deposited an instrument of accession to the Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) Protocol of 2010.
The minister assured that the process will not end with the deposition of the instrument.
“We will also ensure that the HNS Protocol is fully implemented in South Africa once it comes into force. We believe that this liability and compensation instrument is of critical importance to compensate victims of incidents,” said Mbalula.
South Africa is party to many IMO instruments including the mandatory Conventions like SOLAS and all the MARPOL Annexures. In addition, the country is implementing its Port State Control, Flag State and Coastal State obligations and responsibilities.
Apartheid South Africa had been suspended from active membership of the IMO for many years and was only reinstated in 1995 at the commencement of the democratic dispensation.
The IMO meeting ends on Friday, 19 July.
- African News Agency (ANA)