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New Horizons: Mr. Dominguez Velasco’s Unanimous Appointment as IMO’s 10th Secretary-General

New Horizons: Mr. Dominguez Velasco's Unanimous Appointment as IMO's 10th Secretary-General

New Horizons: Mr. Dominguez Velasco’s Unanimous Appointment as IMO’s 10th Secretary-General

  • Explore the pivotal moment in the IMO as Mr. Dominguez Velasco prepares to lead the organization with unanimous support, signaling a new era in maritime governance.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly recently announced the appointment of Mr. Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco as the upcoming Secretary-General, set to assume office on January 1, 2024. This unanimous endorsement, which took place on November 30th, signifies a pivotal moment for the IMO, as Mr. Dominguez Velasco is slated to become the 10th elected Secretary-General, succeeding Mr. Kitack Lim. Mr. Lim, the outgoing Secretary-General, has praised the appointment, emphasizing the importance of a smooth transition, which is symbolized by his comprehensive briefing paper.

A Unanimous Decision: Mr. Dominguez Velasco’s Appointment

The endorsement of Mr. Dominguez Velasco as the next Secretary-General was a unanimous decision made by the IMO Assembly. Commencing his term on January 1, 2024, he is expected to serve until December 31, 2027. The transition of leadership is underscored by Mr. Lim’s support, ensuring a collaborative shift in the organization’s highest office.

Mr. Lim’s Confidence in the Decision

Mr. Kitack Lim expressed confidence in the Assembly’s decision, stating, “I am confident that the Membership as a whole has made a wise decision, and that Mr. Dominguez Velasco will ably lead the Secretariat in promoting the mandate of the Organization and in the delivery of its objectives.” This endorsement from the outgoing Secretary-General sets a positive tone for the incoming leadership.

Mr. Dominguez Velasco’s Vision for the Future

In response to his appointment, Mr. Dominguez Velasco conveyed a strong commitment to advancing the IMO’s agenda. He highlighted key priorities, including safety, decarbonization, digitalization, and the human element. His vision revolves around fostering an inclusive and transparent IMO that is dedicated to its people, global seafarers, and future generations.

“I want to reiterate how much I’m looking forward to leading IMO, to continue working with all of you, an extraordinary group of people who have demonstrated time and time again that we can deliver, by listening and understanding each other, sharing our aims and concerns. I’m very lucky to start with an already great team of professionals in the Secretariat who also want what is best for the Member States and all our stakeholders,” said Mr. Dominguez Velasco.

Mr. Dominguez Velasco’s Background and Expertise

Mr. Dominguez Velasco brings a wealth of experience to his new role, with a background deeply rooted in the maritime industry. His previous positions, such as Director of the Marine Environment Division and Panama’s Ambassador to the IMO, showcase his extensive involvement in the field. Furthermore, his academic qualifications in Naval Architecture, coupled with studies in International Law and European Politics, solidify his expertise and preparedness for the challenges ahead.

Acknowledging the Irony: Lack of Female Leadership

While the appointment of Mr. Dominguez Velasco marks a new chapter for the IMO, there is a notable concern regarding the organization’s lack of female leadership. The absence of women in top leadership roles within the IMO raises questions about gender diversity and inclusivity. As the maritime industry evolves, there is an increasing recognition of the need for diverse perspectives to address complex challenges.

Conclusion: Charting the Course for the Future

As Mr. Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco prepares to assume the role of Secretary-General, the IMO anticipates a period of positive transformation. His vision for safety, decarbonization, digitalization, and inclusivity aligns with the evolving needs of the maritime industry. While celebrating this milestone, it is crucial for the IMO and the maritime community at large to address concerns about gender diversity, ensuring that leadership reflects the richness of talent and perspectives within the industry. The maritime sector stands at the cusp of change, and Mr. Dominguez Velasco’s leadership will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in steering the IMO towards a safer, more sustainable, and inclusive future.

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