- Press Releases
ROK Elected to IMO Council for 10th Consecutive Term
1. The government (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries) announced that the Republic of Korea had successfully been elected as a member of the Category (a) group of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the 10th consecutive time at the 31st session of the IMO Assembly held in London on November 29, local time.
2. The IMO Council makes decisions on key matters related to the IMO’s projects, personnel and budget. It is comprised of 40 countries - Category (a) composed of 10 states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services; Category (b) consisting of 10 states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade; and Category (c) made up of 20 states representing all major geographic areas of the world. The Council members are elected every two years.
3. The Council membership requires a majority vote from the 174 member states of the IMO. In particular, the members of the Category (a) group, which leads IMO discussions, are selected by vote from countries that contribute the most in the area of maritime transport.
4. After its accession to the IMO in 1962, the ROK joined the Category (c) group in 1991 and served five consecutive terms as its member. It was then elected ten consecutive times to work in the Category (a) group from 2001 to 2021, maintaining its status as a member of the IMO Council for about 30 years (1991-2021).
5. The ROK’s ten consecutive elections to the Category (a) group are seen to reflect the recognition of its contribution to the development of maritime affairs through its leadership regarding e-navigation and environment-friendly ships on the international stage.
6. In a bid for the ROK to be re-elected to the Category (a) group, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made such efforts as seeking active support of the IMO member states through its overseas missions. In addition, Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Moon Seong-hyeok actively carried out various activities, including bilateral meetings with delegations of other countries during his visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the 31st IMO Assembly session, which is seen to have had a great impact on the election.
7. The ROK will serve as a member of the Category (a) group from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021. It is expected to greatly help the country have its position well reflected in setting international standards and regulations regarding maritime autonomous surface ships, e-navigation and environment-friendly ships, which are currently under discussion, and elevate its international standing.
government official expressed hope that the tenth consecutive election to the
IMO Council’s Category (a) group would serve as an opportunity to give fresh
impetus to the ROK’s maritime transport, shipbuilding, and maritime information
technology industries and to create more jobs.