On the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, IALA’s host country, a preparatory diplomatic conference took place in Paris from 18 to 19 April 2017 to consider the concrete steps needed to achieve IALA’s planned change of status to that of an intergovernmental organization (IGO).
Chaired by His Excellency, Mr Serge Ségura, French Ambassador of the Oceans, the Conference developed a Roadmap towards a Diplomatic Conference to adopt a new treaty instrument. As stipulated by the IALA General Assembly, in its resolution of 27 May 2014, the envisaged “IALA Convention” will be open for signature by all United Nations member States.
The large attendance at the Paris conference set the scene for two days of active participation by 173 high-level delegates representing 56 countries from around the world where IALA has National Members (IALA has 84 National Members at present). The programme was designed to allow for an open exchange of views and comments on various aspects pertaining to the transition of IALA as an Association under French law to effective IGO status.
Delegates were provided with information about the substantive work already done by the Council and its subsidiary bodies on the legal and financial framework for the future IGO, including the background and structure of the draft IALA Convention and the draft General Regulations. In addition, international legal experts provided an insight into the processes involved in preparing for and convening a Diplomatic Conference.
A special session on cooperation with other international organizations benefited from presentations by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and IHO Secretary-General Robert Ward. Both emphasized the importance of the IALA-IHO-IMO ‘trinity of excellence’.
A follow-up preparatory diplomatic conference is planned for early 2018 (details to be confirmed) with the aim to commence consideration of the provisions of the draft IALA Convention and the draft General Regulations. Members can access all the relevant background information, briefings, reports and input papers on the dedicated web site http://www.iala-aism.org/meetings/1-7/