IMO Full Form
IMO is known for the International Maritime Conference. The organization was established as the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) in accordance with a treaty adopted at the United Nations Maritime Conference (1948, Geneva). The said treaty came into force in March 1958 and IMCO started its work from January 1959. The organization was given its current name in May 1982. The headquarter of this organization is in London and the number of full members is 157 and the number of associate members is 2. This organization promotes cooperation between governments in the field of government activities and regulations related to technical matters affecting shipping engaged in international trade. It encourages the general acceptance of the highest practical standards in matters relating to maritime safety, transport efficiency and the control and prevention of marine pollution caused by ships and deals with statutory matters relating to maritime activities. The International Maritime Conference is organized by the IMO to achieve its objectives and to set the framework for international maritime treaties. It also plays the role of a tribunal in the enforcement of international treaties regulating maritime affairs. The main organs of the IMO include the Assembly, the Council, the Secretariat and four main committees (the Statutory Committee, the Maritime Safety Committee, the Marine Environment Protection Committee and the Technical Cooperation Committee). The Assembly is the principal policy-making body, consisting of all member states. It meets after every two years. It determines the programs of the IMO, makes budget estimates.
Structure and functioning of the International Maritime Organization
The organization consists of a general assembly, a council and five main committees. Apart from this, there are many sub-committees in the organization to cooperate in the work of the major committees.
General Assembly:- The General Assembly is the supreme governing body of the International Maritime Organization. It involves all member states and the session is held once every 2 years, but an extraordinary session can also be held if need be. The general assembly is mainly responsible for approving the organization's program, voting on the budget and determining the organization's financial arrangements. The General Assembly also elects the council of the organisation.
Council:- The Council is elected by the General Assembly for two years after each regular session of the General Assembly. The Council is the executive organ of the IMO and is responsible for overseeing the work of the organization.
Functions of the Council:- Between the two sessions of the General Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the General Assembly. However, under Article 15(j) of the Convention, the task of making recommendations to governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention is reserved for the General Assembly. The council also performs the task of coordinating the activities of various organs of the organization. With the approval of the General Assembly, the work of appointing the Secretary General is also done by the Council. The council consists of a total of 40 members, which are divided into categories A, B and C.
Committees:- Maritime Safety Committee Marine Environment Protection Committee legal committee technical cooperation committee facilitation committee These committees of the organization mainly work to formulate and develop policies, carry them forward and carry out rules and guidelines.