Extension of the Mandate of the HNS Correspondence Group
By: Thomas Liebert
Dear Members of the Correspondence Group,
With this message, I wish to provide you with an update on the 102nd session of the IMO Legal Committee, which took place on April 14-16, 2015.
As you recall, the report that I had submitted as Coordinator of the Correspondence Group provided the Committee with a summary of our discussions and activities over the past year. It had also recommended that the Legal Committee extend the mandate of the Correspondence Group until its next session (tentatively scheduled for June 2016) and that the Group focus on further developing three specific work items in the year to come. These are:
1) “Understanding the HNS Convention” publication;
2) HNS Scenarios; and
3) A draft Legal Committee resolution on implementation and entry into force of the 2010 HNS Convention.
I am pleased to report that the Legal Committee agreed to extend the mandate of the Correspondence Group with the addition of those three specific items to its Terms of Reference. See the meeting summary on the IMO’s website:
Going forward, I will soon be circulating with the Correspondence Group draft documents and products for review. We will also continue to use the HNS Blog for communication.
Understanding the HNS Convention Publication:
The Legal Committee also considered an outline of this publication and agreed with the contents. The Committee also agreed that the Correspondence Group would further develop the publication with the aim of finalizing publishing it by the end of 2015. A more developed concept outline will soon be provided to the Group and we will work towards having the publication available in time for the IOPC Funds meeting in October 2015.
The concept behind this product is to develop a series of Powerpoint slides that provide states and industry stakeholders with information on HNS incidents. These could then be adapted for the purposes of providing information to different audiences. A number of organizations are collaborating to develop these scenarios, including the IMO and IOPC Funds secretariats as well as ITOPF. We hope to provide to the Correspondence Group some models for considerations in the near future.
The Correspondence Group will have an opportunity to consider a draft resolution that would be submitted at the next session of the Legal Committee. I intend to begin drafting a resolution seeking the views of the Correspondence Group likely this Fall. There are elements of the resolution that may require further coordination among states and this could be discussed informally if needed.
I trust this provides a summary of the outcome of the Legal Committee meeting and I look forward to continuing to work with all of you over the year to come.
Manager/Senior Policy Advisor
Gestionnaire/Conseiller principal de la politique
International Marine Policy / Politique maritime internationale
Place de Ville, Tower C, Floor 25