The Honourable H. Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Foreign Affairs and Immigration, is presently attending the 30th Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which commenced 27th November and will conclude on 6th December at its Headquarters in London.
Minister Fernandez addressed the Assembly during the opening ceremony on Tuesday, and expressed solidarity with the Governments of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Iraq and the Argentine Republic in the wake of catastrophes experienced within all territories.
The Minister further elaborated on the disastrous effects on Barbuda and other neighbouring islands on the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, and the vulnerabilities and fragile marine environments of small island developing states (SIDS) to external shocks. Further, the Minister highlighted the leading role played by Antigua and Barbuda in the region and international fora as it pertains to maritime affairs.
The Tourism Minister also paid a courtesy call on the Secretary-General of the IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, and engaged in bilateral meetings with various delegations to include the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia to explore areas of mutual interests.
Moreover, on Thursday 30th November, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda initialed an Agreement with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on Maritime Shipping.
As a specialized agency of the United Nations, the IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the
shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.