The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that it is postponing all of its meetings immediately and indefinitely.
The organization says it has been closely monitoring developments of the impact of COVID-19 at local and global levels and is following advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), UK government (as the host government), and other UN agencies.
It adds that it has taken into account the rapid increase of cases around the world, the continuing difficulties for delegates from IMO Member States to travel to and from IMO meetings, and the determination by the WHO that the outbreak is now pandemic.
The following meetings are therefore now postponed:
- The 7th meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, scheduled to take place from 23 to 27 March 2020
- The 33rd meeting of the E&T Group (IMSBC), scheduled to take place from 23 to 27 March 2020
- The 75th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), scheduled to take place from 30 March to 3 April 2020
These postponements are in addition to those already announced on 6 March, specifically the postponement of:
- The meeting of the Scientific Group of the London Convention and London Protocol scheduled to take place from 9 to 13 March 2020
- The 107th session of the Legal Committee, scheduled to take place from 16 to 20 March 2020.
The IMO Secretary-General will continue to consult with Member States and Members of the Council on these actions and any other potential postponements required in the interest of public health and safety.
Rescheduling of the meetings listed above will be announced in good time for delegates to make appropriate arrangements.
Further updates about other meetings scheduled to take place in April will be provided as soon as possible.