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South Korea's Kitack Lim is confirmed as IMO secretary-general

Kitack Lim, center, is congratulated by outgoing secretary-general Koji Sekimizu, left (Photo: IMO)
The IMO Assembly unanimously endorsed the appointment of South Korea's Kitack Lim as secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, starting Jan. 1.

Lim was president of Busan Port Authority until the end of July. He served as the Republic of Korea’s deputy permanent representative to IMO from 2006 to 2009 and chaired the Subcommittee on Flag State Implementation from 2002 to 2004.

Addressing the Assembly, Lim said IMO faces an array of challenges. He cited implementation of the member state audit scheme, emissions from ships, application of goal based standards, increasing traffic in polar waters, introduction of e-Navigation, the Ballast Water Management Convention, counter-piracy activities, cyber security and safety standards for passenger ships and fishing vessels, among others.

'However, with the collective wisdom and insight of all member states and stakeholders, I am confident that we can withstand the storm and resolve such difficult issues. I hope we can come together as one to pave a new future for IMO, based on the noble efforts and achievements to date,' Lim said.

In a symbolic act of transition and succession, outgoing secretary-general Koji Sekimizu handed over a comprehensive briefing paper on IMO’s recent achievements and ongoing objectives, the Secretariat’s structure and support work, the organization’s financial arrangements and other relevant topics.

The IMO Council, made up of 40 member states, elected Lim as secretary-seneral in June, subject to the approval of the Assembly, which wraps up its meeting today.