Piracy, seafarer shortage and climate change were the main issues IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos discussed with Government Ministers.
Piracy, seafarer shortage and climate change were the main issues IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos discussed with Government Ministers he met in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, during a recent four-day visit. In Damascus and Lattakia (Syrian Arab Republic), he met the Minister of Transport, Dr. Eng. Yarob S. Badr, and Deputy Minister for Maritime Transport, Dr. Emad Abdul Hay. In Lattakia, he addressed the students of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Syrian Branch. Promoting IMO"s ?Go to Sea!? campaign, he congratulated the students for their choice of seafaring as their career and encouraged them to stay in the profession after their graduation and first stage at sea.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, he met with the Transport and Foreign Affairs Ministers and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Minister Saeed Jalili, with whom he discussed the issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden along with the need for full compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, both on board ships and in port facilities. He thanked the Ministers for the decision of the Iranian Government to dispatch naval vessels to the Gulf of Aden to support the international efforts to prevent and suppress piracy in the area.
In discussions with the Minister for Roads and Transportation, Dr. Hamid Behbahani, Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki and the Deputy Minister and Managing Director of the Ports and Maritime Organization, Dr. Ali Taheri, Mr. Mitropoulos sought support for the forthcoming Climate Change Conference (COP15) to entrust, as the Kyoto Protocol has done, IMO with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping operations.
On 15 September, he flew to the Iranian port of Anzali on the Caspian Sea, where he expressed appreciation for recent joint exercises on search and rescue and oil spill prevention and response, between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation; and urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to expedite its ratification of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships" Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004.