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IMO announces seven secretary-general contenders

IMO/Flickr IMO_HQ_London_Seafarer.jpg
Seven IMO member states have nominated a candidate ahead of a vote on the agency’s new leader later this year.

The term of current secretary general Kitack Lim expires from on December 31, 2023. Lim is the IMO’s eighth secretary general and has served since January 2016 after his four-year term was renewed in late 2019.

The deadline for nominating candidates for secretary general passed on March 31, with seven states putting forward a candidate each. The candidates are:

•             Mr. Moin Uddin Ahmed (Bangladesh)

•             Mr. Suat Hayri Aka (Türkiye) 

•             Mr. Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco (Panama) 

•             Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry (Dominica) 

•             Mrs. Nancy Karigithu (Kenya)

•             Ms. Minna Kivimäki (Finland)

•             Mr. Zhang Xiaojie (China)

The vote to appoint a new secretary general will take place on July 18, 2023, at IMO headquarters in London; the result of the election will need to be approved at the 33rd session of the Assembly of IMO late in 2023.

One of the above candidates will then serve as secretary general of the IMO from January 1, 2024.

The new secretary general will take up position at a critical time for the agency, which is currently under pressure from the industry to increase the ambition of the IMO's decarbonisation strategy. IMO will play a central role in driving decarbonisation of the maritime industry as its global regulatory reach can be used to create a level playing field for the sector. One challenge the regulator faces is ensuring an equitable journey to zero emissions shipping for developing countries.