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India's new diplomatic push to secure seat in UN maritime body


Jun 1, 2012
India's new diplomatic push to secure seat in UN maritime body
India will undertake another major diplomatic exercise and this time to secure its seat in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the next two years. India has been a member of the council since 1959 and was always elected unopposed. But this time it's facing a challenge as more countries are contesting for the group that can have only 10 members.

In its bid to win support of member countries, shipping minister Nitin Gadkari is visiting London this week when he is scheduled to meet their representatives. He is also scheduled to reach out to the NRIs, corporates and other philanthropists and urge them to donate for clean Ganga initiative.

London is the headquarters of IMO and Indian high commissioner in London is a permanent representative in the UN's specialized agency for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

India has been a member of Category (B) in the IMO Council since its inception - 1959 - except in 1983-84. A former Indian civil servant was the longest serving secretary general of this group from 1974 to 1989.

It has 10 members - Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. But this time Australia and UAE are also in the fray, which has forced the Indian government to campaign for securing its place.

There are three categories and India has been a member in Category B which has 10 members. This year, the entrants include Australia and UAE.

Earlier this year, former shipping secretary had hosted a dinner for heads of various permanent missions in London. IMO council is an executive organ of IMO and between sessions of the assembly, the council performs all the functions of the assembly, except that of making recommendations to governments on marine safety and pollution prevention.

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