IMO Postpones More Meetings Due to COVID-19
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) said its meetings scheduled to be held in July, including the next regular session of the IMO Council, have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the UN shipping agency moves to revise its meeting program for the remainder of 2020.
The IMO said it has drawn up a priority list of meetings to be considered by the Council at its 32nd extraordinary session that will be held by correspondence from May to July. This follows the 31st session of the Council that took place, also by correspondence, in March to April.
The proposal for rescheduling meetings gives priority to a regular session of the IMO Council, followed by meetings of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) - which will be preceded by the 7th meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships - and to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).
Resuming physical meetings at IMO's London headquarters will depend on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK Government, as well as the situation of IMO Member States, the agency said.
In the meantime, the IMO Secretariat, in liaison with other UN agencies and bodies, is exploring the practicalities of holding virtual meetings, including multilingual meetings with simultaneous interpretation.
The meetings which were scheduled to be held in July and have now been postponed are the 124th session of the Council; the 7th session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments; and the 16th meeting of the Joint IMO/ITU Experts Group on Maritime Radiocommunication Matters.
The latest postponements are in addition to numerous others announced previously dating as far back as March.