One could almost hear visitors holding their breath as soon as they entered the first-ever World Lighthouse Heritage Exhibition. Staged by the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) at the Songdo ConvensiA Centre in Incheon, this exhibition marks a brave initiative that has come to full fruition against a tight deadline.
Officially opening the exhibition, which takes place alongside the 19th IALA Conference held from 28th May to 2nd June in Incheon, MOF Director-General, Mr Woonyul OH, said that its aim was to conserve lighthouses for the future. It was important to ensure their continuous legacy as human engineering triumphs for generations to enjoy and learn from.
IALA Secretary-General Francis Zachariae said the exhibition made maritime history as a world first. He praised its unprecedented concentration of fascinating heritage artefacts from around the world.
Perhaps Mr Zachariae sowed the seed for a follow-up exhibition in future. He said that the formal Incheon Declaration on lighthouse heritage, which is planned for the concluding day of the 19th IALA Conference, will breathe new life in IALA’s Heritage Forum. The Forum comes under the remit of the IALA ENG Committee and is chaired by Mr Neil Jones of Trinity House (UK).
At the General Assembly of the 19th IALA Conference held on Tuesday 29 May 2018 in Incheon, Republic of Korea, the Council for the period 2018-2022 was elected and is now composed of: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, The Kingdom of Morocco, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, The United Kingdom and The United States of America.
Christopher Saarnak, Project Leader of EfficienSea2 and Senior Adviser at the Danish Maritime Authority, explains:
“We are proud of our shared achievements throughout the last 36 months and confident about our solutions having a real impact. All partners involved in EfficienSea2 have made specific plans for how they are going to exploit the different solutions, but making our innovative work available for different maritime stakeholders has always been a key feature of the project.”
Mr Zheping Shao, Dean of Navigation Institute , Mr Fangzhao Gu, Chancellor of Jimei University and Ms Hui Chen, Deputy Director of International Co-operation & Exchange Department came to IALA Headquarters, France on 19 March 2018 for a meeting and signed a MOU with IALA, represented by Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General, Mr Omar Frits Eriksson, Dean of the World-Wide Academy and Mrs Gerardine Delanoye, Programme Manager of the World-Wide Academy.
Mr Francis Zachariae and Mr Omar Frits Eriksson have the honour of being visiting professors at Jimei University, China.
The 2nd Preparatory Diplomatic Conference held in Morocco from 7 to 8 February 2018 carried on with the work started at the 1st Preparatory Diplomatic Conference held in France in 2017.
The preparatory work for IALA’s change of status from non-governmental to intergovernmental organization (IGO) gained further momentum at the Second Preparatory Diplomatic Conference generously hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco in Marrakech on 7 and 8 February 2018.
Welcoming the high-level delegations from 50 countries where IALA has National members, including strong representation from Africa and the Middle East as well as from around the world, Mr. Abdelkader AMARA, Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, drew attention to the maritime safety and security responsibilities of Morocco as an important coastal State in North Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. He expressed his country’s strong support for IALA’s activities and those of its World-Wide Academy, praising also the success of the First Regional Training Seminar on Safety of Navigation in Africa held in Marrakech on 6 February 2018, with 79 representatives from 16 African countries and the regional maritime community.
The two-day conference was convened in accordance with the Roadmap agreed at the First Pre-Diplomatic Conference held in Paris on 18 and 19 April 2017. Chaired once again by the French Ambassador for the Oceans, His Excellency, Mr Serge Ségura, the Conference also endorsed Mr Lahcen Ait Brahim, Director for Ports and the Public Maritime Domain in the Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water as vice-chair. The proceedings further benefited from the legal expertise of Mr Jon Price and Mr Henning Osnes Teigene, respectively chair and vice-chair of the Legal Advisory Panel of the IALA Council.
The focus of discussion was the draft text of the new IALA Convention, which is designed as an international treaty instrument that will be open for signature by all United Nations member States upon its formal adoption by a Diplomatic Conference. Delegates worked from a consolidated draft text that took account of written comments submitted by National members in the aftermath of the Paris Conference.
This was the first opportunity for multilateral negotiations on the details of the draft text. Yet it was clear from the fruitful discussions that a consensus is emerging on a number of draft provisions, while others will need additional clarification and a further exchange of views. The Secretariat will therefore undertake to amalgamate all results from the two-day conference into a revised draft text for circulation to National members and Points of Contacts in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for their further comments. Any comments submitted in writing to the Secretary-General before the end of September 2018 will then be taken into account by the Legal Advisory Panel, at its meeting in October 2018, when it will prepare a new, consolidated draft text for submission to a Third Pre-Diplomatic Conference in early 2019.
Meanwhile, delegates were left in no doubt that the draft IALA Convention preserves the essential nature of IALA as a technical, consultative and recommendatory organization. Furthermore, once IGO status becomes a reality, which will be upon fulfilment of the ratification requirements as determined by the formal Diplomatic Conference, Industrial and Associate members will be able to enjoy membership of the new organization. This will ensure the continued cohesion between them and marine aids to navigation providers (the National members), which lies at the heart of IALA’s success as the leading technical knowledge organization in its field of maritime expertise.
Closing the two-day conference, Mr Najib Boulif, Secretary of State to the Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, in charge of Transport, congratulated delegates on their hard work in carrying the momentum of the IGO project forward. They were building a new vision and new ways of working for IALA as an intergovernmental organization that will work in close cooperation with its partner international organizations and enjoy unstinting support from Morocco and other coastal States around the world.
On January 30, the Minister of Transport and Communications Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed received in his office in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, accompanied by Mr Omar Frits Eriksson Dean of the IALA World-Wide Academy.
During the meeting, the Minister welcomed the Secretary-General and the Dean and expressed the keenness of the Ministry of Transport and Communications to take care of the marine signs in the territorial waters of the Kingdom of Bahrain, particularly those that define the main channels used by commercial vessels. He also pointed out that the port affairs and marine navigation in the ministry take special care of maritime signs. They also discussed aspects of cooperation with the Association and developments in the field of marine aids to navigation industry.
For his part, the Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities expressed his pleasure to visit the Kingdom of Bahrain and meet with the Minister and officials of ports and maritime affairs.
He gave a brief explanation of the role of the Association in the development of navigational aids and the development of standards and guidelines necessary to ensure the safety of maritime navigation.
Assistant Undersecretary for Maritime Affairs Mr Yousif Issa Bubshit, Assistant Undersecretary for Ports Affairs Mr Bader Houd Al Mahmoud and Acting General Manager of MENAS Mr Mahdi Al Mosawi attended the meeting.
The whole team was back to the office by the beginning of January after the holiday season, IALA activities went on with the preparation of the meetings and conferences. IALA keeps a good relationship with its host city, Saint Germain en Laye and was honoured to receive the visit of the Mayor, Mr Arnaud Pericard, and Deputy Mayor, Mr Gilbert Audurier, on Tuesday the 9th of January. On Thursday the 11th of January, Mr Geert Van Cappellen, Secretary-General of PIANC came to IALA Headquarters for a brief meeting intended to strengthen the collaboration between the two organizations.
From the left to the right: Francis Zachariae (Secretary-General of IALA), Arnaud Pericard (Mayor of Saint Germain en Laye), Gilbert Audurier (Deputy Mayor of Saint Germain en Laye)
From left to right: Michael Card (Deputy Secretary-General of IALA), Francis Zachariae (Secretary-General of IALA), Geert Van Cappellen (Secretary-General of PIANC), Omar Frits Eriksson (Dean of the IALA WWA)
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