Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pinoy voted vice chair of Intl Mobile Satellite Organization Assembly

Philippine embassy in London minister Francisco Noel Fernandez III was elected the vice chairman of the 22nd Session of the Assembly of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) last June. The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Fernandez represented the Asia-Pacific region at the IMSO convention held at the INMARSAT Headquarters in London from June 25 to 28. "The Philippine delegation worked for greater representation from the Asia-Pacific region and was instrumental in increasing the region's representation to 11 member states from the previous number of only seven member states," the DFA said Friday. It added the Philippines was appointed for a third consecutive term in the Advisory Committee. Under the policy of regional rotation in the chairmanship, Jean-Louis Bissuel of Monaco was elected chairman while Peruvian Naval Captain Jorge Vargas and Ghana's Minister Jemilat Mahamah were elected as vice chairmen for the Americas and Africa, respectively. One of the important decisions taken during the IMSO Assembly was the appointment of members to its advisory committee. Appointed to the Advisory Committee together with the Philippines were Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, United States, United Kingdom, and Vanuatu. The Advisory Committee, composed of 38 out of the 97 member states of the organization, is responsible for deciding policy and other issues during the interregnum period between the biannual sessions of the IMSO Assembly. IMSO is an inter-governmental organization created in 1979 and is responsible for coordinating the operation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and the Long Range Identification and Tracking System (LRIT). GMDSS ensures timely reaction of search-and-rescue units to vessels in distress while the LRIT enables the identification and tracking of all international vessels to address customs, immigration, quarantine, and security concerns. The Philippines joined IMSO on March 30, 1981. — TJD