Korea’s Ki-tack Lim Elected to IMO’s Top Spot

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) says that Mr. Ki-tack Lim of the Republic of Korea has been elected as the next IMO Secretary-General.

Mr, Ki-tack Lim of the Republic of Korea
Mr, Ki-tack Lim of the Republic of Korea

Kim is now the eighth elected Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency concerned with maritime safety and security and the prevention of marine pollution from ships.

The vote took place during the 114th session of the 40-Member strong IMO Council, which is meeting from 29 June to 3 July 2015. The IMO said previously that it had received six nominations for candidates for the position.

Lim will serve an initial term of four years effective January 1, 2016.

Mr. Lim is currently president of Busan Port Authority and previously served as the Republic of Korea’s Deputy Permanent Representative to IMO from 2006 to 2009. Prior to that, Lim was Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) from 2002 to 2004.

The decision of the Council will be submitted to the IMO Assembly for approval during its 29th session from 23 November-2 December 2015.

Lim will replace Mr. Koji Sekimizu of Japan, who has served in the role since January 1, 2012.

About Ki-tack Lim

Lim was born in Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do, one of the major port cities in the Republic of Korea. He majored in nautical science at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU), Busan, graduating in 1977. He worked on ships as a Korean naval officer and for Sanko Shipping Co. He joined the Korea Maritime and Port Administration in 1985, while continuing his education at the Graduate School of Administration, Yonsei University, obtaining a Master’s Degree in 1990. He then studied maritime administration with a major in navigation at the World Maritime University (WMU), graduating with a master’s degree. Since 1995 he has attended a doctoral program for international law at KMOU, completing course work in 1998.

Mr. Lim began attending IMO meetings as part of the delegation from the Republic of Korea in 1986, actively participating in maritime safety and environmental protection issues. From 1992, he engaged in activities to promote maritime safety through effective implementation of IMO conventions in his country and other IMO Member States in the Asian region. He was elected Chairman of the Tokyo Memorandum on Port State Control in 2004.

In 2006, Lim was appointed as Maritime Attaché, minister-counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London and led all IMO work for the Republic of Korea, serving as Deputy Permanent Representative to IMO up to August 2009.

He was then appointed as Director General for Maritime Safety Policy Bureau at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM), and led the delegation of the Republic of Korea to the IMO Assembly in 2009.

In March 2011, Lim was appointed Commissioner of the Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal (KMST). In July 2012, he assumed the position of President of Busan Port Authority.