IMSO’s membership reaches 101 Member States with the accession of Ecuador to the IMSO Convention

From left to right: Mr Koji Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Carlos Abad Ortiz, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom, Captain Moin Ahmed, IMSO Director General, Captain José Díaz Acosta, Alternate Permanent Representative of Ecuador to IMO on the occasion of the deposit by Ecuador of the Instrument of Accession to the IMSO Convention at IMO Headquarters on 11 November

The IMSO Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed, announced that Ecuador has acceded to the IMSO Convention today, 11 November 2015, bringing the total membership to 101 Member States. The Instrument of Accession was today presented to the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr Koji Sekimizu, as Depositary of the IMSO Convention, by His Excellency Mr Carlos Abad Ortiz, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom.

Mr Sekimizu congratulated IMSO on reaching this important milestone, reiterating the important work of IMSO in the field of safety of navigation through efficient maritime communications.

Captain Ahmed formally welcomed Ecuador to the membership of IMSO, expressing his satisfaction for the increased interest of non-member States, which are considering or in the process of joining IMSO, in the activities of the Organization. He stressed on the importance of IMSO Convention, which ensures fair and equitable internationally accepted regulations for the satellite communication system, is at the forefront of maritime safety.

Captain Ahmed continues to promote the values of IMSO and to encourage both Member and non-member States to be actively involved in the activities of the Organization.

Contingency Exercise in AOR-W

The IMSO Director General has attended a contingency exercise which took place at Inmarsat’s Operational Backup Centre (OBC) facility at Burum in the Netherlands on 10th of November 2015. The Atlantic Ocean Region West (AOR-W) exercise was performed in order to exercise the staff, communications and decision-making at that emergency standby facility.

Left to right: Mr Claudio Galli (Director, Global Service Operations, Inmarsat), Capt. Moin Ahmed (Director General, IMSO), Mr Andrea Moretti (Senior Manager, Burum Operations, Inmarsat), Mr Peter Broadhurst (VP, Inmarsat)

Seventh Intergovernmental Satellite Organisation Tripartite Meeting

The Seventh Tripartite Meeting of the Heads of the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (EUTELSAT IGO), the International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) and the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO), took place on 20 October 2015 in Paris, France. Hosted by Mr Christian Roisse, Executive Secretary of EUTELSAT IGO, the meeting was attended by Mr Jose Toscano, ITSO Director General and CEO and Captain Moin Ahmed, IMSO Director General.

Previous meetings have taken place yearly since January 2008, hosted in turn by each organisation. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the organisations in 2009, in which it was agreed inter alia that they would explore areas where the three organisations could usefully co-operate, save resources and contribute to the development of the satellite industry.

Issues of common interest were discussed, related to their supervisory role and the activities of the companies each organisation oversees, respectively Eutelsat S.A., Inmarsat Ltd. and Intelsat Ltd. Mr Michel Azibert, Deputy CEO of Eutelsat S.A. was invited by the Executive Secretary of EUTELSAT IGO to make a presentation of the company’s activities, its views on the role of the intergovernmental satellite organisations and to provide an overview of the current market situation and its prospective evolution. Mr Azibert paid tribute to the relationship which existed between EUTELSAT IGO and Eutelsat S.A. and expressed his pride in the role that EUTELSAT IGO played in preserving the Organisation’s legacy in a fair and efficient manner and that such resources are kept out of harm’s way.

The Heads of the three organisations reviewed developments since their last meeting, in particular in relation to their role in the activities of the International Telecommunications Union regarding the regulatory regime applicable to satellite and the preparatory process for WRC-15 & WRC-19 and in raising awareness of satellite as a tool for digital inclusion. They also discussed the co-operation between their organisations in supporting the activities of other intergovernmental organisations and private stakeholders within the satellite sector.

At the conclusion of their discussions, the Heads of the three organisations signed a Joint Declaration on the importance of satellite technology for sustainable development and disaster management.

It was agreed that the Heads of the three organisations would continue to meet on an annual basis, and, under the terms of the MoU, to explore areas where they might usefully co-ordinate their activities.

José Toscano, Director General and CEO of ITSO, Christian Roisse, Executive Secretary of EUTELSAT IGO and Moin Ahmed, Director General of IMSO

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 organisation 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 www.eutelsatigo.int.

About IMSO:
IMSO (The International Mobile Satellite Organization) is the intergovernmental organisation which oversees certain public satellite safety and security communication services provided via the Inmarsat satellites and also co-ordinates 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 100 Member States. For more information, visit www.imso.org.

About ITSO:
ITSO (International Telecommunications Satellite Organization) is an Intergovernmental Organization with the mission to ensure that Intelsat, Ltd. provides public telecommunications services, including voice, data and video, on a global and non-discriminatory basis. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. ITSO currently has 149 Member States. For more information, visit www.itso.int.

Retirement of Ms Jenny Ray

The IMSO Director General today announced the retirement of Ms Jenny Ray who has been Head of Administration, Finance and Conferences.

The IMSO Assembly, at its Twenty-Third Session in November 2014, decided to express its appreciation to Ms Ray and many heartfelt tributes made to her at the end of the session.

The Director General pays tribute to Ms Ray, recognizing the work she has done over the years with IMSO.

Visits hosted by the IMSO Director General

The IMSO Director General presents his compliments and has the pleasure to advise IMSO Member States, Observers and other interested parties that he has participated in a number of high level diplomatic visits, since his appointment on 15 April 2015.

On 15 April 2015, the Director General hosted a welcome reception to which the Ambassadors and/or High Commissioners and Permanent Representatives to IMO of each IMSO Member State were invited together with other important guests such as representatives of Inmarsat.

The Director General has subsequently hosted visits by a number of Ministers, Ambassadors and High Commissioners as reported in the following paragraphs. Such visits are aimed at sharing information on the role of IMSO in relation to the oversight of certain public satellite safety and security services provided by mobile satellite communication systems, particularly Inmarsat; the role of IMSO as Coordinator of the Long Range Identification and Tracking of Ships (LRIT) System to ensure the operation of the international LRIT system worldwide; and issues of mutual cooperation between Member States and the Organization.

When possible, the opportunity was taken to introduce representatives of Inmarsat to discuss matters of mutual interest and to tour the Inmarsat Satellite Control Centre.

Visit of the Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran On 29 April 2015, the Director General received a visit from H.E. Mr Mohammad Hassan Habibollahzadeh, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, London, accompanied by Mrs Mandana Mansoorian, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to IMO and Mr Seyed Ali Mousavi, Legal Advisor and Liaison Officer to IMO.

Visit of the Minister of Climate Change of Vanuatu
On 15 May 2015, the Director General received a visit from the Minister of Climate Change of Vanuatu, the Hon. Mr. James Bule, accompanied by Political Adviser, Mr. Noel Lango and the Permanent Representative of Vanuatu to IMO, Mr Laurent Parente.

Visit by the High Commissioner of Cameroon
On 30 July 2015, the Director General received a visit from the High Commissioner of Cameroon, His Excellency Mr Nkwelle Ekaney.

Visit by the Minister (Commercial) of the Sri Lanka High Commission On 20 August 2015, the Director General received a visit from the Minister (Commercial) of the Sri Lanka High Commission, Mr. Nimal Karunatilake.

Visit by the Ambassador of Turkey
On 8 September 2015, the Director General received a visit from the Ambassador of Turkey, His Excellency Mr Abdurrahman Bilgiç, accompanied by First Secretary Mrs Nermin Köşker.

IMSO Director General

The new IMSO Director General, Captain Moin Ahmed, who was appointed by the IMSO Assembly at its Twenty-Third Session held in November 2014, has today taken up his new post.

Captain Ahmed has written to all IMSO Member States, Observer States and international organizations expressing his appreciation for their support and said “to serve the satellite communications world is a privilege, a pleasure and an honour which I cherish very much. I am determined to put every effort into responding to Member States, industry and others’ expectations in a manner which will ensure fairness, justice and objectivity and I assure you I will always serve well the best interests of the Organization. Let us all work together to create a better satellite communications world to match the objectives of the public services. Taking this opportunity, I would like to seek your continuous kind support and cooperation for the years to come in my new assignment from today.”

IMSO formally starts the evaluation of Iridium as a potential provider of GMDSS Satellite Services

On 4 February 2014, the IMSO Director General launched an Consultancy Programme inviting appropriate experts to assist in the evaluation of mobile satellite communications systems for the GMDSS. The IMO Maritime Safety Committee, at its ninety-fourth session in November 2014, agreed that IMSO should undertake the technical and operational evaluation of the Iridium mobile satellite system to assess compliance with the relevant criteria for recognition as GMDSS satellite provider, noting that IMSO would convene a Group of Experts from the abovementioned Consultancy Programme.

IMSO has formalized an agreement with Iridium Satellite LLC to perform such technical and operational evaluation and the IMSO Director General has reported progress to the IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communication and Search and Rescue (NCSR 2), held in London from 9 to 13 March 2015.

Captain Esteban Pacha informed NCSR 2 in relation to the appointment of the Group of Experts which was composed of professionals with extensive experience on all the different elements that have been identified by IMO to cover issues related to Earth Stations, Space Segment, Mobile Terminals, Terrestrial Networks, GMDSS and Search and Rescue communications. The Group has held its first meeting today and is expected to complete an evaluation report to be presented by the IMSO Director General for consideration by the next session of the IMO Subcommittee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR-3) to be held in 2016. The Group of Experts will organize its own work through the Project Administrator under the coordination of the IMSO Director General in the most cost-effective manner.

The scope of the technical and operational evaluation will be to assess compliance with the criteria set out in IMO Resolution A.1001(25) on criteria for the provision of mobile satellite communication systems in the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).

Successful Launch of second Inmarsat fifth generation Satellite

The Director General is pleased to inform IMSO Member States that, on 1 February 2015, Inmarsat successfully launched the second satellite of its fifth generation series, as part of its Global Xpress fleet. Further information is to be found on the public area of Inmarsat’s website – www.inmarsat.com – including video coverage of the launch of the Proton M launch vehicle which carried the I-5 F2 satellite – which blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Inmarsat informs us that Global Xpress “introduces a new era in seamless, globally available, high-speed satellite broadband communications on land, at sea, and in the air. Once operational, following extensive in-orbit and live service testing, I-5 F2 will deliver Global Xpress services to the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region, complementing Inmarsat-5 F1 coverage in the Indian Ocean Region. The third satellite in the constellation is scheduled for launch early in 2015, enabling the Global Xpress network to become globally available – expected early in the second half of this year.”

IMSO’s membership reaches 100 Member States with the accession of Georgia to the IMSO Convention

From left to right: Captain Esteban Pacha, IMSO Director General, H.E. Mr Revaz Gachechiladze, Ambassador of Georgia, Mr Koji Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General, and Captain Mamuka Akhaladze, Director of Georgian Transport Agency, at IMO Headquarters on 12 January on the occasion of the deposit by Georgia of the instrument of accession to the IMSO Convention

The IMSO Director General, Captain Esteban Pacha-Vicente, announced that Georgia has acceded to the IMSO Convention today, 12 January 2015, bringing the total membership to 100. The Instrument of Accession was today presented to the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr Koji Sekimizu, as Depositary of the IMSO Convention, by His Excellency Revaz Gachechiladze, Ambassador of Georgia to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Georgia to IMO, and Captain Mamuka Akhaladze, Director of the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia.

Mr Sekimizu congratulated IMSO on reaching this important milestone, reiterating the important work of IMSO in the field of safety of navigation through efficient maritime communications.

Captain Pacha expressed his satisfaction with the culmination of one of his personal ambitions, when he took office in 2007: namely the target of growing the membership from 91 during his eight year tenure as Director General to 100, which has today been achieved. Membership in the Organization has grown steadily since the entry into force of the original Convention almost 35 years ago in July 1979: 28 States were the founder Members of the Organization, increasing to 88 at the time of privatization in 1999, and reaching today 100.

Captain Pacha formally welcomed Georgia to the membership of IMSO, a further reminder to all States of the importance of all IMO Conventions, which ensure that fair and equitable internationally accepted regulations are at the forefront of maritime safety. Captain Pacha also takes this opportunity to express his satisfaction for the increased interest of non-member States, which are considering or in the process of joining IMSO, in the activities of the Organization.

Captain Pacha continues to promote the values of IMSO and to encourage both Member and non-member States to be actively involved in the activities of the Organization.

Undersecretary of Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Turkey visits IMSO Headquarters

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Turkey, Dr Ozkan Poyraz, met today with the IMSO Director General Captain Esteban Pacha-Vicente at the headquarters of IMSO to discuss matters of common interest in the field of satellite communications and evolution of maritime communication services.

The opportunity was taken to visit Inmarsat’s satellite control centre to get a better understanding about networks management and control. Dr Poyraz expressed a keen interest in the provision of GMDSS and LRIT services that fall under his portfolio.

Captain Pacha thanked him for the support of the Turkish Maritime Administration to the work of IMSO and his interest in the evolution of mobile satellite communications to ensure efficiency of transportation in general, and maritime safety and security services in particular.

The Undersecretary meet IMSO staff and Captain Pacha presented him a shield of the Organization on the occasion of his visit.

Captain Pacha (left) and Captain Poyraz (right) at IMSO
From left to right the IMSO Director General, Undersecretary of Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, and Capt Halil Keskin and Capt Ozkan Istanbullu