LONDON: Saudi Arabia has earned a place on the 40-member council of the International Maritime Organization for the period 2024-2025. The Kingdom received 143 votes from the agency’s 175 member states in an election at its headquarters in London on Friday.
The UN-affiliated organization is the global maritime authority that sets the international standards designed to ensure the safety and security of maritime transport, reduce pollution from ships, and implement initiatives that help preserve the marine environment and protect nature.
Saudi Arabia’s Transport General Authority described the Kingdom’s success in the vote as the culmination of the efforts and support of the nation’s leaders to develop maritime transport in accordance with the goals of the Saudi Vision 2030 development and diversification agenda.
It is “a unique national achievement that propels us toward a promising future,” the TGA said, and “a cause for celebration” that reflects “unwavering commitment toward supporting initiatives aimed at safeguarding the marine ecosystem.”
The success is in recognition of the initiatives the Kingdom has adopted to protect and preserve the marine environment, it added, and it will provide the country with the opportunity to contribute to the development of international regulations and laws relating to global trade and maritime transport.
“The win serves as a confirmation of the Kingdom’s influential position and impact within the (IMO), the significant role of the Saudi naval fleet, ambitious initiatives and projects aligned with the national strategy for transportation and logistical services, and contributions and initiatives in safeguarding the marine environment and empowering seafarers,” the TGA said in a message posted on social media network X.
Under its national strategy for transport and logistics services, Saudi Arabia has adopted a number of initiatives and set ambitious targets that have contributed to the development of the nation’s maritime sector, officials said.
By 2030, the Kingdom aims to handle 40 million containers a year, facilitate clearing and cargo-handling procedures, and develop marine tourism through cruise ships and coastal transportation, taking full advantage of the Kingdom’s strategic location as a meeting point between East and West and the Red Sea’s role as a route through which 13 percent of global trade passes.
Meanwhile, the Saudi transport minister held meetings in London on Friday with several officials on the sidelines of the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organization Assembly, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser met with ministers from Jamaica, Nigeria, Indonesia, Sweden and the Philippines as well as IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
During the meeting, Al-Jasser also met with the Yemeni, Qatari and Bahraini transport ministers.
They discussed strengthening partnerships and employing innovative technologies in the maritime industry.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain was elected as IMO president by its member states.
The IMO is the UN agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.