Koji Sekimizu of Japan has been elected as the new IMO secretary-general with effect from 1st January 2012. His period of office will be for an initial four year term.
The voting took place during the 106th session of the IMO Council, which met from 27th June to 1st July 2011. The Council’s decision will be submitted for approval to the IMO Assembly, which meets for its 27th session between 21st and 30th November 2011.
Sekimizu will replace Efthimios Mitropoulos who is retiring from the post of head of the organisation.
The incumbent is currently director of IMO’s Maritime Safety Division and studied marine engineering and naval architecture before joining Japan’s Ministry of Transport in 1977.
Initially, he was employed as a ship inspector and later moved on to hold senior positions in both maritime safety and environment related positions within the Ministry.
He began attending IMO meetings as part of the Japanese delegation in 1980 and joined the IMO Secretariat in 1989, initially as technical officer, sub-division for technology, maritime safety division, becoming head, technology section in 1992.
In 1997, he became senior deputy director, marine environment division and director of that division in 2000, before moving to his current position in 2004.
Congratulating the winner, Mitropoulos said that he looked forward to “....working closely with Sekimizu between now and the end of the year to introduce him to the current state of organisational affairs so that the transition of administration from me to him will be as smooth, harmonious and successful as possible.
“For him to succeed in the hugely demanding and heavy task the Council entrusted him with, he will need all the understanding, support and co operation of the entire membership and the secretariat to enable him to provide direction and steer the organisation prudently and wisely in the challenging times that lie ahead.
“While I have no doubt that the membership will provide all that I have suggested (as they did to me, over the last seven and a half years, for which I am ever so grateful), I can assure him that the secretariat will stand by him to support him in any way possible and under all circumstances,” Mitropoulos added.
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