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South Korea's candidate Lim wins IMO secretary general vote

South Korea's candidate Lim wins IMO secretary general vote
Lim Ki-tack, president of Busan Port Authority (BPA), has been elected as the next secretary general of the IMO.

Lim beat five rivals from Denmark, Russia, Cyprus, The Philippines and Kenya in a vote at the 40-member IMO Council today; the council's decision will be put to the IMO Assembly for approval in November this year.

“IMO has been the backbone of my professional career,” Lim told Seatrade Maritime as he announced he was standing in the election, adding that he has been attending various IMO meetings since 1986.

“As a maritime professional with lifetime experience in a wide spectrum of maritime trades including seafaring, international maritime regulation and port operation, I believe I have the competence to serve IMO for its brighter future,” Lim added.

Lim's career includes various posts at the South Korean embassy in London, and he has served as chairman of the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) at the IMO. He graduated witha bachelors degree in nautical science from Korea Maritime University, and also holds a master's in political science and in maritime safety administration.

Lim's campaign was the first to gain the official backing of a voting nation, when Panama announced it would be backing the BPA president.

After interviewing all of the candidates and reviewing their answers to a questionnaire, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Jorge Barakat stated: "we have decided that [the candidate] with the clearest vision of what needed to be done [at the IMO] and with the focus on the integral development of the organisation, the best of all was Lim Ki-tac.”

The current secretary general of the IMO, Japan's Koji Sekimizu, is not standing for re-election. Sekimizu's four-year term will come to an end at the close of 2015, as he has chosen to focus his time and attention on caring for his wife, who has a medical condition. After announcing his stepping down, Sekimizu gave a moving and heartfelt speech as he accepted the 2015 Seatrade Personality Award earlier this year.