In a significant development, India has once again secured a prestigious position at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council for the 2024–25 biennium. The outcome of the elections held at the assembly on Friday revealed that India received the highest tally among the 10 states falling under the category with “the largest interest in international seaborne trade.” This achievement places India among respected nations like Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, credits the achievement to collaborative efforts led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Expressing delight and gratitude for the international support received at the International Maritime Organisation, he highlights the significance of the highest votes as a testament to the government’s commitment to enhancing India’s diverse contributions to global maritime operations.
The IMO, as the leading authority regulating the maritime industry, plays a pivotal role in supporting global trade, transportation, and all marine operations. India’s re-election to the IMO Council underscores the country’s prominence and influence in shaping policies that govern the maritime domain on a global scale.
The Indian delegation, led by Secretary of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Shri T.K Ramachandran, included key figures such as DG Shipping Shri Shyam Jagannathan, officers of DGS, representatives from the High Commission of India at London, and industry representatives. The IMO Council, serving as the executive organ of the IMO, is entrusted with supervising the organization’s work and performing essential functions between assembly sessions.
Looking ahead, India has outlined ambitious plans to enhance its representation and influence at the IMO. As part of the Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV 2030), India aims to appoint permanent representatives at IMO London. Additionally, the proposal to nominate at least two qualified candidates for the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Program at the IMO reflects India’s commitment to nurturing young professionals and contributing to international cooperation.
The Amrik Kaal Vision 2047, a comprehensive action plan, charts India’s course for strengthening its global maritime presence. With 43 identified initiatives, the plan includes the establishment of a dedicated IMO cell in India, the appointment of a permanent representative at IMO headquarters in London, and the implementation of the BIMSTEC Master Plan. These initiatives underscore India’s commitment to fostering a robust institutional structure for coordinated and timely implementation of regional projects.
India’s reaffirmation of the IMO Council not only highlights its status as a key player in maritime affairs but also emphasizes the country’s commitment to influencing the course of global maritime activities. With India playing a crucial role in worldwide trade and transport, its vision for the maritime sector is set to make a significant and enduring impression on the global arena.