Panama’s Dominguez Velasco will be next IMO Secretary General

Written by Nick Blenkey
New IMO Secretary General choice is Panama's candidate.

Happy smiles from Panama’s delegation as Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco (center) learns he's got the IMO Secretary General job. [Image: Panama Maritime Authority]

The IMO Council has appointed Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco of the Republic of Panama as IMO’s next Secretary General. Subject to the approval of the IMO Assembly, he’ll serve for an initial four-year term that starts January 1, 2024

A naval architect, Domínguez Velasco is the first Panamanian and Latin American to be elected to the key position. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in the international maritime world and can be seen as an IMO insider.

Before joining IMO in July 2017, he had had served at the Panama Maritime Authority since1998, where his roles included that of Panama’s alternate representative and technical adviser to IMO from 2004 to 2014. He is currently director of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Division, after previously serving as director of the Administrative Division and head of Cabinet and of the organization. All that should equip him well for the upcoming battles over things like carbon pricing that will be certain as IMO moves on from MEPC 80 to pursue its emissions reductions targets.

The President of the Republic of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, said that, “as a maritime country, it is “an honor that Arsenio Domínguez has been elected as the new Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization – IMO. It is a historic day that fills us with great pride.”

Other countries with candidates for the Secretary General position included Turkey, Dominica, Kenya, Finland and China. According to Panamanian Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney, Dominguez Velasco’s victory is “the product of the team management of the Panamanian embassy in the United Kingdom, the embassy and Permanent Representative of Panama to the IMO, the candidacy team of the Directorate of International Organizations and Conferences of the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Ministry and the Panama Maritime Authority.

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