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Message from the Secretary-General

The prospect of the Diplomatic Conference to adopt the draft Convention taking place in early 2020 marks a defining step towards the Association’s transition to Intergovernmental Organization status. More information on this latest development – the result of the Third Preparatory Diplomatic Conference superbly hosted by the Turkish Directorate-General for Coastal Safety in Istanbul from 12 to 14 March – is available from the IALA website (https://www.iala-aism.org/news-events/news/). I am very grateful to the Government of Malaysia for its generous offer to host the diplomatic Conference. The exact dates and venue will be announced as soon as possible.

The World-Wide Academy’s first seminar on the effective implementation of the new Standards, held in Istanbul on 11 March, provided important information and advice for coastal States in the developing world as well as long-established maritime nations. The suite of seven Standards approved by the General Assembly held in Incheon, Republic of Korea in June 2018 are a vital aspect of the Strategic Goal for all coastal States to contribute to a harmonised global network of marine aids to navigation by 2026. IALA will continue to provide the necessary support through capacity building and training to ensure that the Standards are implemented effectively, appropriately and proportionately to individual coastal States’ specific needs.

The ENAV and the ARM Committee held their Spring session during the first week of April. ENAV23 took place in Singapore, where the popular Singapore Maritime week (6-14 April) features a joint workshop of IALA and the Maritime and Port Authority on e-navigation services from 8 to 10 April. The workshop aims to develop a work programme to achieve the initial operation capability phase of selected shore-based digital maritime information services, taking account of results from major international collaborative testbeds such as SESAME Straits, MONALISA, STM Validation, SMART/eMIR and EfficienSEA.

We are three months away from the celebration of the first World Marine Aids to Navigation Day on 1 July. I look forward to many events around the world showcasing the chosen theme of “Marine Aids to Navigation: Successful Voyages, Sustainable Planet” to a wider maritime audience and the general public. Enthusiastic participation by the membership will increase awareness of the significance of IALA’s technically advanced work to continuously improve safe navigation for the benefit of the maritime community and the protection of the marine environment.

The much anticipated 2020 VTS-ENAV Symposium in Rotterdam (25-29 May 2020) will be around the corner soon enough and there is still an opportunity to make a presentation on the chosen theme of “Enhanced Maritime Safety and Efficiency by Connectivity”. Simply download the abstract form from the IALA website’s news section (https://www.iala-aism.org/news-events/news/) and return a 200-word proposal in English to the Secretariat (contact@iala-aism.org) by 31st May of this year!

Francis ZACHARIAE