Dominguez emerged victorious on Tuesday among a field of seven candidates following a secret ballot of the 40 member states of the IMO Council. He has been elected for an initial four-year term from 1 January 2024 subject to the approval of the IMO Assembly.
Dominguez will take over from South Korea’s Kitack Lim who will have served in the role for eight years.
It is understood the voting went to three rounds with Panama gaining 21 votes in the third round ahead of the candidates from Finland and Turkey.
Panama President Laurentino Cortizo Tweeted following the announcement: “For Panama, a maritime country election of Arsenio Dominguez son of the fatherland, fills us with pride. It is a historic day for us.”
Dominguez is the current Director of the IMO’s Marine Environment Division having served full time at the UN body for the last six years. Prior to that he worked for the Panama Maritime Authority for over 19 years, the final three years of which were as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Panama to the IMO.
Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping commented on the election: “We look forward to working with Mr Arsenio Dominguez (Panama), and know that Mr Dominguez will lead with equal measures of authority, purpose and compassion.
“The position of IMO Secretary General is not an easy one, and there are undoubtedly challenges ahead as the industry strives to meet the 2030, 2040 and 2050 targets [for GHG emissions], but it will be a pleasure to tackle these challenges head on with Mr Dominguez for a better and safer future for our industry and its people.”
The other six contenders for the Secretary-General post were: Mr Moin Uddin Ahmed (Bangladesh), Mr. Suat Hayri Aka (Türkiye), Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry (Dominica), Mrs. Nancy Karigithu (Kenya), Ms. Minna Kivimäki (Finland), and Mr. Zhang Xiaojie (China).
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