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Candidature Statement by Minister Khaw Boon Wan at the 31st Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization

29 Nov 2019 Speeches

Madam President
Mr Secretary-General
Fellow delegates,

1.     Shipping is currently facing major challenges brought about by digitalisation and decarbonisation. Singapore shares the IMO’s commitment to help global shipping deal successfully with these challenges.

Singapore’s Contributions to IMO

2.     As a major port State, flag State and coastal State of a vital shipping lane, Singapore brings balanced perspectives on these challenges to the IMO. We seek to contribute to the IMO’s work and programmes, especially in three specific areas.

Technical Cooperation and Capacity Building

3.     First, we believe in developing human capital and capabilities through capacity building and training.

4.     Last year, Singapore launched an enhanced training package, amounting to USD 5 million, to raise the scale and scope of our technical assistance for the IMO and Member States. Earlier this year, we have deepened our partnership with the World Maritime University and launched the WMU-Koji Sekimizu PhD Fellowship on Maritime Governance.

5.     Next year, the MPA Academy will launch the inaugural Maritime Innovation Programme (MIP) designed for senior officers overseeing technological developments, innovations or change management.

Safety at Sea

6.     Second, as a coastal state of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, we place utmost attention to maritime safety. The Co-operative Mechanism for the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, under the auspices of the IMO, continues to be a key platform for collective action among States and industry to ensure safety in a vital sea lane.

7.     Apart from navigational safety, we support international efforts to tackle maritime piracy. We are an active member of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), and host the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre.We actively support cooperation and information sharing amongst anti-piracy contact points in Asia and Africa.

Sustainable Shipping

8.     Finally, as a major port and ship registry, Singapore believes in building a sustainable maritime transport system. Last year, Singapore co-organised an Asia-Europe Meeting Conference on green shipping and blue business, immediately after the IMO adopted the initial strategy.

9.     We also co-organised with the IMO the Future Ready Shipping Conferences. We are now planning a Future of Shipping Conference in April next year, to continue discussions on digitalisation and decarbonisation and we welcome your participation.


10.    Mr President, Council Membership is both a privilege and a responsibility.If re-elected to the Council, Singapore is wholly committed to fulfilling its responsibility as a Council Member. We seek your continuing support, and thank you for your friendship.