On December 6, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly welcomed the first Filipino president for its 32nd assembly. The Head of Mission, His Excellency Antonio M. Lagdameo, Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom, was bestowed the honor of both President and first Filipino to preside over the assembly after 73 years since the IMO came into existence. It is an especially historic victory for Filipino seafarers, as they are the most in-demand seafaring professionals in the world and hailed as modern Philippine heroes.

Joining Lagdameo at the 32nd Session of the IMO Assembly in London are key figures from the Mairtime Industry Authority (MARINA): VADM Robert Empedrad (MARINA Administrator), VADM Rene Medina, Atty Jean Ver Pia, Ms. Sonia Malaluan, and Mr. Jasper Caesar Jampac.

A specialized agency of the United Nations, the IMO oversees global standards for safety, security, and environmental performance for international shipping. The importance of its role in creating regulatory frameowrk that is fair and effective for the shipping industry can not be understated, as the IMO and its members seek to have these standards both universally adopted and implemented.

Of note is the IMO Assembly, which acts as the highest governing body of the organization, which approves work program and budget, which determines financial arrangements and elects the IMO Council. The Assembly includes all IMO Member States, who meet and confer every two years.

It is expected that in being elected President of the 32nd IMO Assembly, His Excellency Lagdameo will provide a stronger voice for Filipino seafarers and serve as an inspiration to the Philippines.