IMSO Welcomes the Distinguished Delegation from the Republic of Madagascar

Today, the Director General of IMSO Captain Moin Ahmed welcomed the delegation of the Embassy of the Republic of Madagascar to the United Kingdom, led by Mr. Tojonirina Ramarolahy, First Counsellor and Charge d’Affairs A.I. Mr. Ramarolahy and Mrs. Anjaniaina Olivia Rakotonirina, Counsellor of the Embassy of Madagascar attended the meeting.

IMSO Technical Officer Mr. Pier Taranti gave a presentation to the delegation on the Organization’s role as a global oversight body of certain satellite communications systems used for safety and security, and as the global Coordinator for the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of Ships (LRIT) system. As the Republic of Madagascar is not currently a member of IMSO, the visit particularly revolved around the Organization’s mandate, how the work of the Organization benefits countries globally, and the Madagascar’s interests can be protected by having their voice heard on these issues in the IMSO stage.

After the presentation, the Director General made special mention to the importance of LRIT implementation by Madagascar as a State Party to SOLAS Convention, as well as audit fees being the lowest ever. It is therefore, expected that this reduction in fees will help to reduce the financial burden of LRIT on states such as the Republic of Madagascar. Becoming part of the LRIT system would give the Republic of Madagascar access to core safety and security measures off their coastline and beyond, and further help strengthen the system.

IMSO hopes that the Republic of Madagascar will become a member of the Organization and join the LRIT system. Moreover, IMSO looks forward to this opportunity to extend the cooperation between Madagascar and the Organization with both parties reiterating their commitment to develop this relationship and working towards more collaboration in the future.

MSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed (left) and Mr. Tojonirina Ramarolahy, First Counsellor and Charge d’Affairs A.I. exchanging a commemorative shield during the visit.

Acting High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the United Kingdom Mrs. Janet Charles, Visits IMSO

Today the IMSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed hosted a visit for the representatives from the UK High Commission of the Commonwealth of Dominica, led by the Acting High Commissioner Her Excellency Mrs. Janet Charles. The meeting was aimed at introducing IMSO’s role on distresses and safety communications and ship tracking, to the delegation and to discuss about Dominica’s membership to the Organization. The current implementation status of the country’s Long-Range Identification and Tracking of ships (LRIT) system.

IMSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed (left), Her Excellency Mrs. Janet Charles, Acting High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Dominica (middle) and Ms. Nakinda Daniel, 3rd Secretary (right) exchanging a commemorative shield during the visit.

During the meeting, a presentation was given to highlight the benefits of membership to IMSO and the role of the Organization as a global oversight body of distress and safety satellite communication services and regarding Organization’s role as the LRIT Coordinator. The meeting addressed in particular, the issues related to Commonwealth of Dominica’s implementation of LRIT. For the remainder of the presentation and visit, IMSO’s Director General discussed with the High Commissioner a solution to this issue. Furthermore, the SES agreement was also discussed regarding the Commonwealth of Dominica’s position given the upcoming SES Conference in 2022.

The meeting concluded with a very good understanding and with the High Commissioner’s assurance to the Director General that she would hold a conversation with her Government in order to quick progess on the matters addressed during her visit.

IMSO Welcomes the Distinguished Delegation from the Republic of Angola

Today, the Director General of IMSO Captain Moin Ahmed welcomed the delegation from the Republic of Angola, led by Mrs. Rosa Sobrinho. Mrs. Sobrinho attended the meeting in person, with the rest of the Republic of Angola’s delegation attending remotely. This meant that despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic the Republic of Angola delegation were still able to attend the meeting and gain a better understanding of IMSO’s role on the international stage.

IMSO Technical Officer Mr. Pier Taranti gave a presentation to the delegation on the Organization’s role as a global oversight body of certain satellite communications systems used for safety and security, and as the global Coordinator for the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of Ships (LRIT) system. The intention of this visit was to further the Republic of Angola’s knowledge of IMSO and how the Organization can benefit Angola if it were to become a Member State. The Republic of Angola has recently attended IMSO’s 26th and 27th Assemblies as Observers, gaining a familiarity with the methods of work of the Organization and the issues that are tackled by IMSO.

After the presentation, the Director General made special mention to the importance of LRIT implementation by Angola, as well as audit fees being the lowest ever. It is therefore, expected that this reduction in fees will help to reduce the financial burden of LRIT on states such as the Republic of Angola. Becoming part of the LRIT system would give the Republic of Angola access to core safety and security measures off their coastline and beyond, and further help strengthen the system.

Although the Republic of Angola is not yet a member of IMSO, there has been a positive and ongoing relationship between the Organization and the esteemed Republic of Angola. Going forward, IMSO hopes that the Republic of Angola will become a member of the Organization, join the LRIT system and looks forward to collaborating further in the future.

IMSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed (left) presents the Director General of Angolan Maritime Administration Mrs. Rosa Sobrinho (right) with a commemorative shield.

Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova, Her Excellency Mrs. Angela Ponomariov Visits IMSO

IMSO’s Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed had the pleasure to warmly welcome Her Excellency Mrs. Angela Ponomariov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Moldova to the United Kingdom. At the visit, the Director General and the Ambassador spoke of the mutual relationship between IMSO and the Republic of Moldova present and future. As the Republic of Moldova is not currently a member of IMSO the visit particularly revolved around demonstrating what the Organization does, how the work of the Organization benefits countries globally, and the Moldova’s interests can be protected by having their voice heard on these issues in the IMSO stage.

IMSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed (left) and Her Excellency Mrs. Angela Ponomariov Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Embassy of the Republic of Moldova (right), receiving IMSO crest

The meeting included a presentation introducing IMSO’s role as a global oversight body of certain safety and security satellite communication services, including distress and safety communications services provided by satellite services providers Inmarsat and Iridium. Furthermore, the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of Ships (LRIT) system was introduced, in particular IMSO’s position as its international LRIT Coordinator.

The core purpose of the visit for the Republic of Moldova was to gain a better understanding of the purpose of IMSO and its importance around the World. As Moldova is yet to join the Organization, Her Excellency Mrs. Angela Ponomariov was appreciative to gain a deeper understanding of the responsibilities of IMSO and how Moldova can benefit by becoming a member and from becoming a part of the LRIT system.

This opportunity to extend the cooperation between Moldova and the Organization was well received and both parties reiterated their commitment to developing this relationship and working towards more collaboration in the future. 

IMSO’s Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed presents Her Excellency Angela Ponomariov with a gift commemorating the recent 40th anniversary of the Organization

Ambassador of Ecuador presents his Credentials to IMSO

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ecuador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Sebastian Corral today presented his credentials to the Director General of International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) as Permanent Representative of Ecuador to IMSO.

Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed welcomed His Excellency Mr. Sebastian Corral, graciously accepting the Letter of Credence, which had been issued by the Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mauricio Montalvo. Prior to this, the Ambassador also presented his Credentials to the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to whom he is also Permanent Representative of Ecuador. His Excellency Mr. Corral served as the CEO of the Ecuadorian Television Network Teleamazonas, before taking his new role, succeeding His Excellency Mr. Jaime Marchán-Romero as Ambassador for Ecuador in the United Kingdom on 26th of October 2021.

His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Sebatian Corral (right) presents his Letter of Credence to Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed (left).

The rest of the visit consisted of the Director General and His Excellency Mr. Corral discussing the mutual relationship between IMSO and Ecuador, both present and future. Discussions included matters of common interest to both parties including introducing the Ambassador to the role of the Organization on the international stage and how it’s work benefits its Member States such as Ecuador.

In the meeting, IMSO Technical Officer Mr. Taranti gave a presentation to the representatives on IMSO’s role as the global oversight body of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) services and as the Coordinator of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of ships (LRIT). Throughout the meeting the Ambassador had a variety of questions to learn more about the duty and functions of IMSO. Information was also provided in regard to the Ambassador’s particular interest in the LRIT system and how Ecuador utilises this program within its waters.

After Mr. Taranti had given his presentation the Director General and His Excellency Mr. Corral continued their dialogue particularly around Ecuador’s potential acceptance of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities and its Amending Agreements and the SES Agreement. Following Director General’s explanation on the merits of these agreements and the importance of Ecuador signing onto them, the meeting concluded noting that the Ambassador would bring these up with his Government going forward.

Both the Ambassador of Ecuador and IMSO Director General look forward to working closely together and were enthusiastic about the continued cooperation between Ecuador and IMSO and the vital discussions held to promote such collaboration.

Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed (left) presents His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Sebastian Corral (right) with an IMSO shield.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Immigration and Trade from Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Everly Paul Chet Greene, Visits IMSO

Today the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) took the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda, led by His Excellency Mr. Everly Paul Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade. The meeting gave the IMSO Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed an opportunity to promote the work of IMSO and together discuss the areas in which IMSO and Antigua and Barbuda could collaborate for their mutual benefit.

IMSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed (left) and His Excellency Mr. Everly Paul Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs Immigration and Trade (right) exchanging gifts during the visit.

Also, in attendance was His Excellency Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mr. Dwight C. Gardiner, permanent representative, who himself has played a significant role in the Organization in particular, during his time chairing the IMSO Advisory Committee in 2019 and 2020.

In the meeting, delivered a presentation to the representatives on IMSO’s role as a global oversight body of certain distress and safety satellite communication services and as the Global Coordinator the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of ships (LRIT) system, with a particular focus on how this supports the safety of life at sea for Antigua and Barbuda and beyond.

Furthermore, the Director General and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Immigration and Trade discussed matters around the 2008 Amendments to the IMSO Convention and Antigua and Barbuda’s potential acceptance of this important instrument. The SES agreement was also discussed regarding Antigua and Barbuda’s position given the upcoming SES Conference in 2022.

Both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and IMSO Director General look forward to working closely together and were enthusiastic about the continued cooperation between Antigua and Barbuda and IMSO and the vital discussions held to promote such collaboration.

IMSO Celebrates International Women’s Day 2021

Today, 8 March 2021, on International Women’s Day, the International Mobile Satellite Organisation celebrates women’s achievements and contributions in the aerospace, telecommunications, and maritime sector. Director General Moin Ahmed gave the following message: “Today at IMSO we pay tribute to the women within our own organization, our partners in industry, and our fellow international organizations for their leadership, expertise and wisdom. The incredible work of these women and others ensure the safety of life at sea, and we need to ensure gender equality remains at the forefront of our work to establish a safer and more secure future.”

At the time of International Women’s Day 2020, the global effects of the pandemic were yet to be fully felt. Since then, international trade, communication, and essential work have continued thanks to the women who make daily sacrifices and work tirelessly in this industry. We especially thank the women in these organisations who applied their leadership to create innovative solutions for the new set of challenges raised by the pandemic. IMSO draws attention to the supportive work of organisations such as the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), the Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) the World Maritime University Women’s Association (WMUWA) and others who empower women in careers at sea.

IMSO has embraced #ChooseToChallenge and would like to draw attention to the existing gender disparities and biases in the aerospace, telecommunications, and maritime sectors. IMSO extends its proud support to the women who work in these sectors and calls on them to share their experience of the challenges they’ve faced. Accordingly, IMSO promotes the inaugural Women In Maritime International Survey 2021. A joint venture by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and WISTA, the survey will help the industry understand the nature of these disparities and create policies to address them, and build a more diverse and inclusive maritime sector.

The 12th Tripartite Meeting of IMSO, ITSO, and EUTELSAT IGO

The Twelfth Tripartite Meeting of the Heads of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO), the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) and the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (EUTELSAT IGO), took place virtually on 9 February 2021. Hosted by Mr. Patrick Masambu, Director General of ITSO, the meeting was attended by Captain Moin Ahmed, Director General of IMSO and Mr. Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, Executive Secretary of EUTELSAT IGO. Delegations of ITSO and EUTELSAT IGO, also participated in the meeting.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the three organizations in 2009, inwhich it was agreed, inter alia, that they would explore areas where the three satellite organizations could usefully co-operate and contribute to the development of the satellite industry. Since then, Tripartite Meetings have taken place annually and been hosted by each organization in turn to discuss issues of common interest, relating to the respective companies that the three Organizations oversee: Intelsat S.A. (overseen by ITSO), Eutelsat S.A. (overseen by EUTELSAT IGO), and Inmarsat Ltd as well as Iridium (overseen by IMSO).

During the Twelfth Tripartite Meeting, the Heads of the three organizations reviewed the developments related to their organizations since the last Tripartite meeting, which took place in London on 5 September 2019.

During the session “Discussion on Next Steps”, the Heads of the three organizations exchanged views on matters of common interest and/or concerns, taking into account recent developments since their last meeting. Discussions were also held in relation to current topics including the organizations’ proactive responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect on the satellite service providers they supervise.

The organizations maintained their shared goals of bridging the broadband digital divide, and support for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In addition to providing continued oversight over the Parties’ Common Heritage, and advocating for the satellite industry, with a common goal of working toward harmonization of regulatory framework, the organizations asserted their commitment to join forces to broaden their effectiveness. By coordinating their efforts and participation in international forums, including the WRC-23, and developing capacity building training courses, the organizations aim to optimize their service to their respective Member States by reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.

The Heads of the organizations also noted that the C-band is a vital global resource for satellite network providers and continues to be an important element in the delivery of a wide range of telecommunication services to many countries. Therefore, they are closely monitoring the C-band auctions in the United States. They are also positioning their organizations to prepare to oversee a multi-operator environment and a competitive landscape. The Heads of the three Organizations affirmed their support and commitment to the UN efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly the work of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. They also agreed to continue to meet on an annual basis, and, under the terms of the MoU, to further explore areas where the three Organizations could usefully cooperate.

The next Tripartite Meeting will take place in Paris, France in the fourth quarter of 2021.

About ITSO

ITSO is an intergovernmental organization with 149-member states, that incorporates the principle set forth in Resolution 1721 (XVI) of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which established that communication by means of satellite should be available to the nations of the world as soon as practicable on a global and non-discriminatory basis. Originally established in 1973 as INTELSAT, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization was restructured in 2001. The restructuring led to the creation of a private entity, Intelsat S.A. and to the continuation of the intergovernmental organization with a new acronym (ITSO). ITSO’s mission is to monitor the performance of Intelsat’s public service obligations and to safeguard the Parties’ Common Heritage.

For more information, visit http://www.itso.int

About EUTELSAT IGO

EUTELSAT IGO (The European Telecommunications Satellites Organization) is an Intergovernmental Organization established by an International Treaty. After a period (1985-2001) during which the Organization had operational activities in outer space to the level where it became one of the leading world satellite operators, the organization was transformed and its operational activities, assets, and related liabilities were transferred to the company Eutelsat S.A., operating under French law. Since 2001, EUTELSAT IGO, based in Paris, France and comprising 49 Member States, has a twofold role in maintaining the rights to use radiofrequencies and orbital locations which were assigned collectively to the Member States by the ITU before restructuring and monitors the operations of the company Eutelsat S.A., in particular to ensure that the Basic Principles defined in the Treaty are observed.

For more information, visit http://www.eutelsatigo.int.

About IMSO

IMSO (The International Mobile Satellite Organization) is the intergovernmental organization which oversees certain public satellite safety and security communication services provided via Inmarsat and Iridium satellites and also coordinates the System for the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of ships (LRIT). IMSO is established under the provisions of the Convention on the International Mobile Satellite Organization which also defines the public services, such as satellite services for the Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS), which is subject to international oversight. Headquartered in London, UK, IMSO currently has 106 Member States.

For more information, visit http://www.imso.org.

Captain Moin Ahmed, IMSO Director General, Mr. Patrick Masambu, ITSO Director General and Mr. Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, EUTELSAT IGO Executive Secretary participated in the virtual meeting hosted by ITSO on 9 February 2021

IMSO Signs Agreement to Assess BeiDou Message Service System ​

The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) has the pleasure to announce that today, the 2nd July 2020, it has signed an agreement with the China Transport Telecommunication and Information Group Co. (CTTIC) to perform a technical and operational assessment of the BeiDou Message Service System (BDMSS).

This follows on from the invitation by the seventh session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) to IMSO to conduct the assessment, two years after CTTIC submitted the application to the 99th session of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). The assessment process will evaluate the technical and operational capability of BDMSS to provide mobile satellite communication services, in particular, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

After receiving the go ahead from NCSR 7, IMSO hosted introductory meetings with representatives from CTTIC at the IMSO Headquarters, London in January 2020. Here the process was outlined and the discussions of the details of the assessment began. Taking into account the agreed effective date of the Agreement to be 17 January 2020, the date of the first meeting, while preparing for the signing of this agreement, IMSO has simultaneously started the work on the assessment: selecting the Group of Experts and Observers, outlining the assessment plan and timeline for the accomplishment of the tasks.

IMSO has now selected a Group of Experts for the process who will imminently start to assess BDMSS compliance with the criteria set out in IMO resolution A 1001(25) on Criteria for the provision of the satellite Communication Systems in the Global Maritime Distress and safety System (GMDSS), taking into account the guidance laid down in MSC.1/Circ. 1414. IMSO will then submit a report on this process to the NCSR Sub-Committee for consideration.

BeiDou is the second new satellite service provider to undergo this assessment process, following last year’s integration of Iridium satellite system. If successful, it (BeiDou) would become the third provider of satellite services for GMDSS, alongside Inmarsat and Iridium, following the transition of the system to a multi-provider environment.

Mr. Song Zhen, Vice President of CTTIC (right) presents a model of BeiDou Satellite to IMSO Director General Captain Moin Ahmed (left) during a meeting at IMSO Headquarters in January 2020.

Obituary – Mr. Andy Fuller

OBITUARY

MR. ANDY FULLER

It is with deep sadness the Director General of IMSO informs that the Organization’s former Deputy Director General Mr. Andrew Clement Fuller passed away on 25th April 2020, aged 70, after contracting coronavirus.

Mr. Fuller was a key member of the Organization for many years and his commitment to working towards safety of navigation and communication was eminent throughout his career, serving as an inspiration for many others in the field. He had been a well-known figure in the maritime world, in particular within the IMO and IMSO arena. He started his career in the British Royal Navy in 1967 and served for ten years at sea as a hydrographic surveyor and commanded a Royal Navy ship.  In 1977, he joined the civilian staff at the UK Hydrographic Office to work on maritime safety information and navigational warning broadcasts.  He led the development and international implementation of NAVTEX and the International SafetyNET Service. His contributions to navigation were recognised in 1992 as he was elected into the Royal Institute for Navigation.

In 1993, Mr. Fuller joined the International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat) – which was an intergovernmental organization (IGO) at that time, prior to privatisation – and worked on the development of the SafetyNET service before becoming Manager of the Maritime and Maritime Safety Services Departments.

Mr. Fuller left Inmarsat IGO at the time of privatisation in March 1999 to lead a new company, Marineworks Ltd, offering high level policy and operational consultancy services throughout the world in the fields of maritime communications, navigation and safety.

In late 1999, he was offered the position of Head of Technical Services for the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO), in order to oversee the public services provided by the newly established company Inmarsat.  In that position, he played a leading role in the evolution of IMSO and the principles for the provision of satellite-based safety communications for ships and aircraft worldwide.  He also led the development and implementation of the auditing functions for the IMO Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) project after which he was appointed Deputy Director General of IMSO in 2008.

In recognition of his key role in the development of mobile satellite service (MSS) based safety services, he received the “MSUA Pioneer Award” from the Mobile Satellite Users Association in 2013.

Following his retirement, in August 2014, the IMSO Assembly at its twenty-third session, taking into account his extensive service to advance and promote the work of the Organization, adopted Resolution A.003(23) to put on record its deep gratitude and sincere appreciation to Mr. Fuller for his professionalism, dedication and contribution to furthering the capability, aims and objectives of the Organization.

Even during his retirement, Mr. Fuller also worked as the Special Advisor to the Director General for the assessment of the Iridium Satellite System for GMDSS recognition.

Mr. Fuller’s loss will be felt heavily by all at IMSO and by the wider maritime community, but his legacy will remain ever-present with the Organization. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this painful time.