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Future shipping trends, developments discussed at USP

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Event organisers following the public lecture at USP Laucala Campus pictured here with H.E Kitack Lim, SG of the IMO and Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP.

A public lecture on trends and developments in the shipping industry by His Excellency Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was hosted by The University of the South Pacific (USP) on 27 July 2019.  

In his opening address, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP extended a warm welcome to H.E Lim saying that the University was honoured to host him and in particular the crucial discussions on challenges in the shipping industry, among others.

He said that USP is the premier research institution in the Pacific which also has a Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport (MCST) in the Republic of Marshall Islands. The Centre is an exciting initiative between the RMI and USP to achieve our transport emissions emissions reduction targets set under the Paris Agreement.

“We take pride in the fact that at every one of our regional campuses, we are building more research capacity so that the research is not only based here but it is sustainable throughout the region which we serve,” he said.

He added it was a pleasure for the University to be able to host the seminar.

H.E Lim said one of the challenges for IMO is the protection of the environment from damages like oil spills as a result of maritime accidents, while another is that it often contemplates how to compensate for the loss of life or injury due to these maritime accidents.

“And then we have to consider that when accidents happen at sea, whether the telecommunication system is workable enough for distress signals and search and rescue operations,” he said.

“For this we need a universal international regulation convention that should be implemented especially for oil pollutions,” he said.

H.E Lim said IMO’s mission is to promote, safe, secure, environmentally sound efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation, by adopting the highest standards of maritime safety and security, efficiency of navigation and prevention and prevention and control of pollution from ships.

One of IMO’s major highlights is achieving global standard setting authority with 50 international instruments, a process which gives a truly global shipping industry level playing field it needs to operate effectively. Instruments cover all aspects of international shipping – including shipping design, construction, equipment, manning, operation and disposal.

Future challenges for the IMO in terms of the environment include climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, 2020 sulphur limit, marine plastic litter, digitalisation and automation.

With respect to the latter, robotics, artificial intelligence and big data brings about structural changes in the industry, enabling autonomous ports and the automation of ships.

He confirmed that IMO is carrying out a scoping exercise to look into the regulatory aspects of autonomous ships.

In terms of the facilitation of trade, H.E Lim said IMO ensures the adoption of technologies to enhance ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore connectivity like marine communications or electronic exchange of information.

The IMO is a specialised United Nations (UN) agency for international shipping, whose Convention was adopted in 1948, with a membership of 174 member states.

This news item was published on 1 Aug 2019 03:11:47 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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