Tomorrow the IMO will elect a new Secretary General

On Tuesday it will become clear who will succeed Koji Sekimizu as Secretary General of the IMO. Read here how the candidates will try to thread their way through the comprehensive voting procedures over the next 24 hours to win the IMO top job.
Photo: IMO
Photo: IMO

Tomorrow, Tuesday, it will be settled who will take over after Koji Sekimizu as head of the shipping industry's most prominent international agency, the IMO, at the turn of the year.

At half past noon, British time, the final vote in the IMO Council will be concluded, and it will be decided if the Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, Andreas Nordseth, for instance, or one of the other five candidates will be the new head of the UN's International Maritime Organization, IMO. But the candidates cannot not rest yet after campaigning since New Year's.

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Today, Monday, meetings will be held in the IMO Council at headquarters in London where the 40 member states in the Council will discuss various other problems besides the position of Secretary General. Tomorrow, Tuesday, the final campaign begins when the IMO Council meets again at 9am. The day will start with delegations from the six countries with candidates, each presenting their own respective candidate. Three minutes are allotted for each presentation from the countries Denmark, Cyprus, South Korea, the Philippines, Russia and Kenya.

Then each of the six candidates has eight minutes to make a presentation of their politics and an introduction about themselves. Besides Denmark's Andreas Nordseth, the candidates include the Cypriot Andreas Chrysostomou, who has served as chairman of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). The third candidate is Vitaly Klyuev, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Transportation in Russia, the fourth candidate is South Korea's Ki-Tack Lim, who currently holds the position as head of Busan Port Authority, and the fifth is Max Mejia, who is the head of the Philippine Maritime Industry Authority. The last candidate is Kenya's Juvenal Shundu.

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Voting will commence immediately following the presentations. The vote is secret and takes place by each member state turning in physical ballots, which will be counted in a total of five rounds of voting. The rounds will start with a vote between all six candidates. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated from the race, after which five candidates are left. This procedure is repeated until the winner is found.

Andreas, Andreas and the South Korean candidate

ShippingWatch has previously described how Denmark and Cyprus are presumed to have the candidates with the best chances of getting the job. Denmark's Andreas Nordseth is expected to be in a strong position because he has led a comprehensive campaign and has supposedly visited all of the 40 member states in the Council. He is also known for having high professional standards. He is not as well known, however, in the IMO system as Andreas Chrysostomou from Cyprus, who is also expected to be well-positioned due to his many years of work for the IMO.

The South Korean candidate Ki-tack Lim has been mentioned several times over the past few weeks as a potential dark horse in the race, while the Russian, Philippine and Kenyan candidates are not expected to have good odds.

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The South Korean could end up surprising people because he has worked in the IMO since the middle of the 1980s and has a strong international network.

The 40 members of the current Council, elected for 2014-2015 and which will decide the future of the candidates tomorrow, is divided into three groups:

  • States with the largest interest in providing international shipping service: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, South Korea, Russia, the UK and the US.
  • States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
  • States not elected under the categories above which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world: Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.

When the decision is made in the Council tomorrow, the chosen candidate will be recommended for approval in the entire IMO Assembly, which is comprised of all of the IMO member countries. The Assembly will approve the council's decision and this will take place at a meeting which will presumably be held on the 23rd of November and last until the 2nd of December this year.

South Korea plays dark horse in race for IMO top job

Denmark and Cyprus fight for IMO Secretary General position

These are the candidates for Secretary General of the IMO 

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