20 April 2020
Responding to a letter from four environmental NGOs raising concerns about the postponement of essential IMO meetings this spring due to the COVID-19 crisis, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim confirmed that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of shipping remains one of the IMO’s highest priorities, expressing confidence that the IMO will implement the initial phase of its GHG strategy within the scheduled timeframe. The Secretary General had to decline the suggestion of the NGOs to organise virtual meetings to replace the cancelled meetings of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee and the Intersessional Working Group on GHG Emissions from Shipping. Mr Lim said that the IMO does not presently have the capacity to hold virtual meetings for the number of delegates that normally attend these meetings. One of the main challenges is the need to have simultaneous translation in the six official languages of the IMO.