WISTA International and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation on 27 January 2020. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and WISTA International President Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, CEO, Tototheo Maritime, were joined by Fred Kenney, IMO, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division; Chris Trelawny, IMO, Acting Director, Technical Cooperation Division; Helen Buni, IMO, Principal Programme Assistant, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships; Gyorgyi Gurban, IMO, Senior Maritime Policy Adviser, Executive Office of the Secretary-General; as well as WISTA International Secretary, Alexandra Anagnostis-Iron, President, Total Marine Solutions; WISTA International Board Member Sanjam Gupta, Director, Sitara Shipping Ltd.; WISTA International Board Member Naa Densua Aryeetey, Head, Ghana Shipper’s Authority.
The MoU formalizes the collaboration with the goal of developing synergies between the respective work programmes to be mutually beneficial. The MoU outlines how WISTA will play an important role in helping IMO further its reach to women in the maritime industry.
The MoU outlines WISTA’s efforts to support the overarching principles in IMO’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023, especially the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through four joint activities.
Four key areas of activity are outlined in the MoU. First, to look for opportunities to partner on maritime issues; which may include organizing workshops or speaking on panels at annual conferences or other event and will endeavour to make panels diverse. Second, to promote greater engagement for women in maritime, among their members, the broader ocean business community, ocean stakeholders and the public. Third, to develop and participate in relevant training, workshops, among other business related to their areas of mutual interest; and finally, to support implementation of Assembly Resolution A.1147(31) on Preserving the legacy of the World Maritime theme for 2019 and Achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment for Women in the Maritime Sector.
In addition, WISTA and IMO agree to ten areas of collaboration, including a joint IMO-WISTA International study to collect and analyse data on the number of women employed in the maritime sector. These areas of cooperation leverage WISTA International’s observer status at IMO as an opportunity to promote industry leadership and cooperation on gender equality, diversity and inclusion. Other areas of collaboration include: the creation of a database of female experts on maritime subjects, to bring these experts to IMO partnership conferences and activities, to strengthen the cooperation between women in maritime associations (WIMAs) and WISTA International National WISTA Associations (NWAs), to collaboration on key events and communications, to participate in each others events, working groups, task teams, and other activities, to identify and establish industry partnerships.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.