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UN Secretary-General kicks off IMO celebrations

London: United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is one of the dignitaries in London this week to mark a number of milestones in the history of IMO, including the 100th session of the IMO Council. This morning the Secretary-General gave a special address to the IMO Council highlighting the work of IMO not just in terms of the service it provides in regulating the maritime industry, but also in the wider context of the international agenda set by the United Nations, including IMO's work to support the Millennium Development Goals, protect the environment and promote sustainable development.

The week long IMO celebrations (16-20 June 2008) not only mark the commemoration 60 years since the adoption of the IMO Convention and 50 years since that Convention entered into force but also celebrate the 25th and 20th anniversaries, respectively, of the World Maritime University (WMU) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

Another major milestone for the IMO will be the official opening of the Organisation's refurbished Headquarters on London's Albert Embankment by his Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester tomorrow. Although the building, which was purpose-built for the Organization in the 1970s and is leased from the host Government, is largely unchanged externally, the £62m project has brought dramatic internal changes.

Other events during the week include a panel discussion on IMO/industry co-operation under the theme: IMO's relationship with the maritime industry (June 18), a discussion of the theme "IMO into the future", looking ahead to the challenges the Organization will face during the 21st century (June 19) and last but not least, 100th session of the Council on Friday, 20 June.  [16/06/08]

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