Mr. Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco has been confirmed as the next Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO Assembly on Thursday, unanimously approved the decision of the Council at its 129th session (C129) to appoint him to the role.
Mr. Dominguez Velasco will take up the office of Secretary-General on 1 January 2024 for an initial term of four years, ending on 31 December 2027. He becomes the Organization’s 10th elected Secretary-General.
The outgoing Secretary-General, Mr. Kitack Lim, congratulated his successor on his appointment. Mr. Lim said:
“I am confident that the Membership as a whole has made a wise decision, and that Mr. Dominguez Velasco will ably lead the Secretariat in promoting the mandate of the Organization and in the delivery of its objectives.”
Mr. Lim pledged to work with Mr. Dominguez Velasco to ensure an orderly and successful hand-over and, in what he called a “symbolic act of transition and succession”, he handed a comprehensive briefing paper to Mr. Dominguez to assist him in his preparation for the role of Secretary-General.
Addressing the Assembly, Mr. Dominguez Velasco said:
“You have my full commitment to build on the great work that has been done by my predecessors, taking what is already a significant and influential organization, to be an institution that will thrive in delivering its full agenda, from safety to decarbonization, from digitalization to the human element; an International Maritime Organization that not only looks towards the future, but does more in embracing change, diversity, inclusion and transparency; one that is dedicated to its people, from all the very professional staff that form the IMO Secretariat, to our seafarers worldwide and perhaps most importantly, a dedication to the younger generations, the ones we are obliged to hand over to, to hand over a planet that is a better place to live in.”
He concluded that: “I want to reiterate how much I’m looking forward to leading IMO, to continue working with all of you, an extraordinary group of people who have demonstrated time and time again that we can deliver, by listening and understanding each other, sharing our aims and concerns. I’m very lucky to start with an already great team of professionals in the Secretariat who also want what is best for the Member States and all our stakeholders.”