The IMO Council has voted to appoint Mr. Arsenio Dominguez as the new Secretary General of the organisation. Dominguez who hails from the Republic of Panama, will serve his initial four-year term as next Secretary-General from 1 January 2024, subject to the IMO Assembly’s approval later this year.
Dominguez will succeed outgoing Secretary General Kitack-Lim who has been in the position since 2016. The Panamanian has a key part in organising the recent MEPC80 talks in his role as the Director of the IMOs Maritime Environment Division and secretary of the committee. He also holds a Naval Architect’s degree from Veracruzana University, Mexico.
Speaking to The Naval Architect in May 2023 Dominguez emphasised his desire for the IMO to be more accessible. “I believe in an IMO that is open and transparent, inclusive and diverse. The moment that you face all this you can take action. What is important for me is that we can stimulate the exchanges and discussions. The more we do that the better we collaborate,” he said.
Seven member states nominated candidates for the position of Secretary General, including Dominguez’s Panama. The other candidates were Moin Uddin Ahmed from Bangladesh, Suat Hayri Aka from Turkey, Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry from Dominica, Nancy Karigithu from Kenya, Minna Kivimäki from Finland, and Zhang Xiaojie from China.
In a statement on the election of Dominguez, Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping said:
“The position of IMO Secretary General is not an easy one, and there are undoubtedly challenges ahead as the industry strives to meet the 2030, 2040 and 2050 targets, but it will be a pleasure to tackle these challenges head on with Mr Dominguez for a better and safer future for our industry and its people.”
Voting took place at the IMO and concluded just before lunchtime on 18 July.