Singapore re-elected to council of UN agency regulating shipping worldwide

SINGAPORE - Singapore has been re-elected into the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the 12th consecutive two-year term.

The election was held during the 29th Session of the IMO Assembly in London.

The IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations involved in the regulation of shipping. It works to improve maritime safety and prevent pollution from ships.

Singapore, which joined the organisation in 1966, a year after independence, has been a member of the IMO's 40-member council since 1993.

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, who led the Republic's delegation at the assembly, on Saturday blogged about the honour at being re-elected and the promise to remain objective and inclusive as a council member.

In a speech to the assembly, Mr Khaw highlighted the contribution Singapore has made in the IMO, and how the organisation had also helped the country during its formative years.

"There is a Chinese proverb that means, 'whenever you drink water, always remember its source'. It means you must always have a deep sense of gratitude," he said.

"As a young nation, Singapore benefited tremendously from the technical assistance provided by fellow IMO member states. We therefore believe we should repay and actively contribute back to the international maritime community by sharing our development experiences.

"In 1998, Singapore signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IMO on the Third Country Training Programme, to provide technical assistance for fellow IMO member states. This MOU was the first of its kind at that time. We have since provided training and development opportunities to over 1,700 participants from more than 80 states. This year, we have upgraded our maritime training centre into a full-fledged academy, so that we can do even more in this area of technical assistance."