Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's government welcomes the election of Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco from the Republic of Panama as Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the period from January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2028.

The election of the New Secretary General of the IMO was conducted at the 129th IMO Council meeting in London, the United Kingdom, on Tuesday (July 18).

Director General of Sea Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation of Indonesia Arif Toha, who was the Indonesian delegate at the 129th IMO Council meeting, noted in a statement received in Jakarta, Wednesday, that the selection process for the Secretary General of IMO was tight and smooth and took place in four rounds.

As many as 40 member countries of the IMO council gave their votes to six candidates for the secretary general's post out of which three candidates were left in the last round that was won by Arsenio from the Republic of Panama, with 21 votes out of a total of 40 votes.

"With 21 votes, Mr Arsenio from Panama was elected as the IMO Secretary General starting on January 1, 2024. Thus, Mr Arsenio will replace the IMO Secretary General Mr Kitack Lim whose term of office will end on December 31, 2023," Toha noted.

He said, with Arsenio elected as the IMO Secretary General, the Indonesian Government, as a member of the IMO Council, of course, is committed to continuing to provide full support to IMO to improve the safety and security of world shipping and protection of the maritime environment.

"Indonesia warmly welcomes the election of Mr Arsenio from Panama. Apart from having a good close cooperation relationship in the sea transportation sector between Indonesia and Panama, Arsenio is also a figure, who has played an active role in the International Maritime Organization for a long time. We are sure that Arsenio will bring IMO to becoming better in the future," Toha noted.

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The elected candidate, Arsenio, will be officially inducted at the IMO Assembly in November 2023 that will be attended by 173 IMO member countries.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation's Directorate General of Sea Transportation is tasked with conducting government activities and administration or maritime administration at the IMO on the shipping field as stipulated in Presidential Regulation Number 23 of 2022 on the Ministry of Transportation.

Currently, Indonesia is running for re-election as member of the IMO Council Category C for the 2023-2024 period for which the election will be held at the IMO Assembly in November 2023.

To garner vote support, Indonesia conducted several activities at the 129th IMO Council in London taking place on July 17-21, 2023, such as holding a coffee break for members of the IMO Council, side events by holding bilateral meetings, and organizing a lunch reception at the IMO Building in London.

Present to lead the Indonesian delegation at the 129th IMO Council meeting are Indonesian Ambassador to the UK and Ireland and the IMO Desra Percaya, Director General of Sea Transportation Arif Toha, Director of Sea Traffic and Transport Capt. Hendri Ginting, representative of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform, the Indonesian Classification Bureau, the Indonesian Embassy in London, and also the Indonesian Transportation Attaché in London.

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Translator: Benardy Ferdiansyah, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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