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Caribbean maritime administration

Regional plan of action to develop Caribbean maritime administration
Web Posted - Mon Jul 05 2004
Caribbean government ministers overseeing maritime administration will meet in Bridgetown on July 16 to launch an action plan for the protection of the region’s marine environment from sub-standard shipping.
This high-level symposium, hosted by Barbados’ International Transport Minister Noel Lynch, will also give the green light for the establishment and, or the upgrade of legislative and institutional systems to undertake flag, port and coastal functions in the Caribbean.

Following their 1995 endorsement of a regional accord on the conduct of port state control, and subsequent international and regional projects identifying the status and needs of maritime administrations in specified countries, the territories have developed their National Action Plans as directed by a similar 1999 Barbados symposium.

The Bridgetown Resolution had required, in part, that Caribbean governments develop, update and implement national and regional action plans to ensure more effective compliance with and enforcement of international maritime rules and standards throughout the region.

It was the climax of discussion on issues of flag state implementation and port state control with special emphasis on the enforcement of maritime treaty instruments, in the context of accession to such international legislation, enactment of national laws and maritime safety establishment. In addition, there was also focus on enhancing the legal, technical and administrative competence of maritime administrations, the safety of life at sea and the protection of the Caribbean Sea against pollutants from ships and substandard shipping.

Now, as a result of the existence of the National Action Plans, the Regional Maritime Adviser has developed a Regional Action Plan for which, it is expected, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will source technical assistance to bring it to fruition.

The Regional Action Plan identifies objectives, activities for implementation, responsible parties for implementing it, time frames or target dates and external aid needed for maritime legislation, maritime administration (structure), marine environment protection, facilitation of marine traffic, human resource development, maritime and port safety, and security and focal points.

It is expected that as a result of this plan, the Caribbean countries by 2005 will improve their capacities to facilitate flag, port and coastal state functions.

It is also anticipated that there will be effective implementation of relevant MO standards and the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, as all actions taken so far augur well for significant improvements in maritime administrations.

Barbados’ hosting of this latest regional high-level symposium at the Sherbourne Conference Centre provides the avenue to launch this plan. It will be attended by ministers and delegates from the CMOU focal points, the MO International Labour Organization and the Caribbean Community Secretariat. The symposium will be split into two meetings; that of the technicians on July 15 and the ministers’ caucus the following day.

Compliments of the Barbados Advocate


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