The Regional Meeting for Directors and Heads of Maritime Administrations (formerly known as the Workshop of Senior Maritime Administrators), jointly organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Maritime Authority of Suriname (MAS), was held in Paramaribo, Suriname (28-29 July 2022).
The meeting was considered an important transition to a more formalized structure to address matters affecting sustainable maritime transport in the Caribbean Sea. This would include: transport of cargoes and passengers by sea, facilitation of maritime transport, legal and legislation matters, marine technology, maritime education and training, maritime safety, protection of the marine environment, navigation and rescue and any other relevant matters.
The meeting agreed to formalize the role of the Chair, which will be the host country, and a Vice Chair, to be instituted on a rotational basis amongst the participating States and Territories. A Sub‑Committee was established to formalize rules of procedure, intersessionally, for future meetings.
Other important decisions of the meeting included the provision of additional support for the development of the regional casualty incident/investigation database, progressing the GloLitter Programme in the region, increased collaboration among Caribbean maritime training institutions and increased support for the gender-based data collection by the regional Women in Maritime Association, WiMAC.
IMO was requested to reconvene a High-Level Symposium of Ministers responsible for maritime transport to focus on legislative issues and climate adaptability matters.
The meeting was conducted in the hybrid format and it was attended by forty representatives of the maritime administrations from the following countries; Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, the Netherlands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and the territories/regions of Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Bermuda (United Kingdom), the Cayman Islands (United Kingdom), Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands) and Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom).
The following organizations also participated in the workshop; Caribbean Maritime University (CMU); Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMoU); Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC); International Telecommunications Union (ITU); Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) Caribbean; Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Regional Activity Center Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information and Training Centre – Caribe (RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Cartagena Convention Secretariat; The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT); US NOAA National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS); Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC); and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).