IMO postpones further meetings due to Covid-19 but begins rescheduling plans

The International Maritime Organization has postponed several more meetings scheduled for this year. Meetings which were scheduled for July, including the next regular session of the IMO Council, have now been postponed.

The IMO said that work had begun to revise its meeting schedule for the remainder of 2020.

A priority list of meetings has been drawn up. These will be considered by the Council at its 32nd extraordinary session, which will be held by correspondence from May to July. The 31st session of the Council also took place by correspondence in March and April.

The rescheduling proposal prioritizes a regular session of the IMO Council, followed by meetings of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) – which will be preceded by the 7th meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships – and to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).

London-headquartered IMO said that any resumption of physical meetings would depend on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), from the UK Government, and the views of Member States.

The IMO Secretariat said that it was exploring the practicalities of holding virtual meetings, including multilingual meetings with simultaneous interpretation into the six official languages of the Organization.