IMO Council 2023 — Sweden seeks re-election in Category B for the period 2024-2025

A picture of an icebreaker in the sea.

At the 33rd session of the Assembly of the IMO, Sweden seeks election to the Council of the IMO under the provisions of Article 17 (b) of the IMO Convention.

As a country located in the very northern part of the hemisphere with a long coastline, few land borders and a large archipelago, Sweden holds a long tradition as a maritime nation and depends on seaborne trade. The shipping sector is indispensable for Swedish society. Approximately 90 per cent of our international trade is carried by maritime transport. Sweden is a long-standing partner to the IMO and our commitment and dedication to the Organisation goes back to 1959. As a firm believer in the objectives of the IMO, Sweden has constructively and dedicatedly participated in the work of the Organization for over six decades.

“Preparing international shipping for future challenges” - Andreas Carlson, Minister for Infrastructure and Housing.

If re-elected as a member to the IMO Council, Sweden will particularly focus on:


  1. Promoting the objectives, program and work of the World Maritime University in order to enable the mission of the IMO. 

  2. Ensuring good governance and that the IMO effectively achieve its goals and objectives. 

  3. Strengthening the international shipping sector to meet future developments and challenges. 

  4. Continue to support the work of the IMO at all levels of the organization. 

A. The World Maritime University and enabling the mission of the IMO

Sweden is proud and honoured to be the host state of the WMU, a responsibility taken very seriously. Founded by the IMO in order to enhance the objectives and goals of the organisation, the World Maritime University (WMU) plays a vital role in the development of the maritime sector. As of 2023, 5,871 Graduates from 170 countries across the globe have graduated from the WMU.

WMU aims to be a centre of excellence for postgraduate maritime education and to provide advanced training for men and women, in particular from developing countries, who are involved in maritime administration, education and management.

The importance of the WMU cannot be understated. Through its work, the WMU supports the IMO’s technical co-operation programme and constitutes an important component to address several of the Sustainable Development Goals related to shipping and ocean management. Supporting WMU is supporting future maritime policy makers and leaders, efficient IMO rule making and universal implementation of shipping standards.

In 2021 a landmark arrangement was reached to ensure that WMU’s degrees are accredited by the Swedish authorities. This accreditation was a milestone in the history of WMU, paving way for stable ground for the university’s base in Sweden. Furthermore, it is our sincere hope that this will benefit the status of the programmes and the degrees offered by WMU.

Since its establishment in 1983, Sweden has been a major contributor to the WMU. At present, the yearly financial support by Sweden to the University stands at 30 million SEK, which equals approximately 2.96 million US dollars. In addition to this yearly financial support, Sweden, provides free-of-charge premises for the WMU in the city of Malmö.

As a state that advocates solidarity and international cooperation, Sweden is committed to continuing our support of the WMU in its essential work of fostering future maritime administrators and leaders. It is only through capacity building that equal engagement in the IMO process can be achieved. As a member of IMO Council, Sweden will continue to advocate for WMU and its central role in the maritime community.

B. Good governance of the IMO

In order for the IMO to effectively achieve its goals and objectives, it is important to maintain good governance of the Organisation and ensure transparency, efficiency and inclusiveness.

Good governance also provides accountability and predictability in the decision-making process. Sweden is convinced that good governance of the IMO results in better regulations for the maritime sector as it allows equal participation of member states in international discussion.

Sweden will continue to work for enhanced transparency, openness and inclusiveness in the IMO. In this matter, we believe that it is important that the IMO allows all member states to be heard, and that all specific interests are addressed, Sweden will continue its efforts in this regard.

C. Strengthening the international shipping sector to meet future developments and challenges.

Shipping as a mode of transportation has transformed and adapted to the development of society for centuries. It is essential that the maritime sector continue to adapt to the developments of the international society. To best serve the maritime industry, Sweden believes that it is essential that the shipping sector has the tools to adapt to a changing world.


Sweden is a leader in maritime innovation and one of the leading countries in green transition. Collaboration between policymakers and entrepreneurs, not necessarily limited to the shipping sector, have shown that it is possible to build ships that meet the developments and challenges for shipping. Sweden recognizes the vital role that IMO plays in fostering this transition.

If elected Council member, Sweden will aspire to lead by good example and endeavour to make IMO a forum where innovative technology and solutions can be implemented in the regulatory framework to ensure safe and environmental sound international shipping fit for the future.


Enhanced digitalization will facilitate for international maritime traffic and seaborne trade. It will reduce administrative burdens for both ship masters and maritime administrations, and advance trade possibilities in developing countries. Therefore, Sweden is passionate and progressive about new and alternative means of practice such as the development of functional requirements and autonomous shipping.

Sweden has taken a particular active role to facilitate the advancement of these issues in the IMO. It is a privilege for Sweden to have been given the trust to chair the FAL Committee, the FAL Expert Group on Data Harmonization and the Joint MSC-LEG-FAL MASS working group. We take these assignments very seriously.

Gender equality

A vital element in strengthening international shipping is to uphold and promote pluralism within the IMO and the maritime sector. Sweden is convinced that the maritime sector will benefit greatly by diversity, equity, and inclusion. This will ensure that IMO decision making is based on a multitude of perspectives and experiences. Not only will the work force available to the sector increase if a more inclusive approach is applied, Sweden is also convinced that the pool of recruitment will include more skilled individuals. Sweden has continuously advocated pluralism within the IMO, including enhanced gender equality, and will continue to promote this vital issue in the IMO Council.

Climate change

Climate change and environmental degradation pose threats to the future of the oceans, the maritime sector, and the global community which no one can afford to ignore. The Swedish shipping industry is at the forefront in implementing new technology and innovation when ordering new ships and converting existing ships. The shipping industry is sincere in its will to take action to respond to climate change, and Sweden strongly believes it is the responsibility of the IMO member states to facilitate this work by giving clear objectives and directions. Sweden will continue to support the work of the IMO to ensure that the green transition in the shipping sector will become a reality.

D. Sweden and the IMO

Sweden has been a dedicated member of the IMO since 1959 and will continue to actively engage and support the work of the IMO on all levels of the Organisation. Sweden believes that the progress and success of the IMO is dependent on the engagement of member states. Sweden will work to ensure that all States are heard and that all specific interests are attended to within IMO.

Active participation and discussion by qualified experts are key factors to achieve the goals set up by the Organisation. Therefore, Sweden allocates extensive resources to allow its experts to contribute to the work in the Organization. Over the years, Swedish representatives have served as elected officers of Diplomatic Conferences, the Council, MSC, MEPC, FAL and several subsidiary bodies. To contribute to the progress of the Organisation's work, Sweden also provides competent people to serve as chairs and coordinators of numerous working and correspondence groups.
Moreover, Sweden has ratified and implemented, in principle, all Conventions and other relevant instruments of the IMO.

In 2007, Sweden was also one of the first member states to be audited under the IMO Member State Voluntary Audit Scheme. In 2022, Sweden was audited again, this time under the mandatory IMO Member State Audit Scheme. Sweden is proud of the outcome of the audit and appreciates the opportunity to ensure its overall compliance with the IMO legal framework.


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