Singapore gains unprecedented council membership to international navigation association IALA

According to an announcement by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore has been elected for the first time to the Council of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). The election took place at the 13th Session of the IALA General Assembly on 29 May 2018, in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

Established in 1957, IALA is a non-profit, international technical association that seek to harmonise aids to navigation worldwide and ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost effective while protecting the environment. The association comprises marine aids to navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and scientific and training institutes around the world.

Through its mission, IALA fosters safe, economic, and efficient movement of vessels for the benefit of the international maritime community. The principal organs of the IALA are the Assembly, the Council and five Committees. The IALA General Assembly is held every four years. In between the Assembly sessions, the activities of the IALA are governed by the IALA Council. The IALA Council comprises 21 Councillors elected by the IALA General Assembly and 3 further non-elected Councillors. Council membership is for four years and members are eligible for re-election. 

Following its successful election, Singapore will serve a four-year term from 2018 to 2022. Membership of the Council will enable Singapore to contribute further to IALA’s mission of ensuring that seafarers are provided with effective and harmonised marine aids to navigation worldwide for safe navigation and protection of the environment.

“Singapore is honoured to be elected to the IALA Council and is grateful for the support of our fellow IALA National Members. We are heartened that our contributions are valued and recognised by IALA National Members, and look forward to close collaboration to further the IALA’s vision of achieving the safe and efficient movement of vessels through the improvement and harmonisation of marine aids to navigation worldwide,” said Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the MPA.

This is the first time Singapore ran for a seat on the IALA Council, although Singapore has been an IALA National Member since 1973.

As one of the world’s busiest ports situated along a key maritime trade route, ensuring safe, open, efficient, and sustainable shipping has always been important to Singapore. One of Singapore’s initiatives toward this goal is the development of standardised automatic reporting and improvement of communication of vessel traffic services, which is in line with IALA’s efforts in e-navigation.

Since 1973, as an IALA National Member, Singapore has played an active role at the various IALA Committees such as the E-Navigation Committee (ENAV) and the Vessel Traffic Services Committee (VTSC), and their respective working groups.

Singapore was the first Asian country to host the Vessel Traffic Services Symposium in partnership with IALA in 2000. MPA has also co-organised and hosted various IALA workshops and courses such as the E-NAV workshop in 2012, the Regional Forum on Vessel Traffic Services in 2013, the IALA’s Risk Management Course in 2015 and the e-Navigation forum in 2017.

To mark the 45th year of Singapore’s membership of IALA, Singapore has launched a 5-year technical co-operation and capacity building package for IALA and its National Members from 2019-2023.

Valued at S$1 million, the package comprises fellowships, scholarships, workshops, networking events, and courses to enhance IALA National Members’ capacity-building and human resource development.

Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of IALA, welcomed Singapore’s commitment for a technical co-operation and capacity building package to IALA.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Singapore for its continued support to IALA and encourage other IALA National Members to follow this good example,” said Mr Zachariae.

The package will be implemented through the MPA Academy, MPA’s training arm, in collaboration with the IALA Worldwide Academy, IALA’s arm for technical assistance and capacity building.

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