Cleopatra Doumbia–Henry named Dominica’s candidate for post of IMO Secretary General

Roseau: The Commonwealth of Dominica has named Cleopatra Doumbia–Henry as their candidate for the position of the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization(IMO) at the Reception event held at IMP Delegate Lounge in London on June 5, 2023.

Helmed as a Consensus Builder and Visionary leader, Cleopatra Doumbia–Henry has highlighted the intent to follow an inclusive approach at the IMO that would facilitate the discussions of matters with member states, observer delegations, stakeholders, society and secretariat while aiming to collaborate with the international organizations such as ITF, ICS, UN and FAO.

Additionally, she reiterated her vision to strengthen the Global Maritime Community by fostering a strong, united global maritime community founded on integral principles of trust, cooperation and shared responsibilities. Remarking on the same, She added, “ My ability in building global consensus is evident in the development and adoption of MLC, 2006.

She has also vowed to work on developing Global Maritime Accord by facilitating discussions and negotiations among member states. Adding that the vision will be grounded in the fundamentals of social justice, environmental stewardship and economic prosperity to ensure that the maritime industry remains sustainable, Inclusive and resilient in the long run.

Further, she pledged to serve the office with tireless efforts to build consensus among the member states and global partners, stating: Coming from a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), It will be a great honour to lead the organization, being the first female secretary general from a developing state.

Cleopatra Doumbia–Henry has advocated for sustainable growth of the maritime industry with respect to smart shipping with the action of innovation and adoption of technology, particularly the adoption of Artificial Intelligence(AI) in maritime.

She has also promised to endorse and fully mobilize the internal and external technical expertise and resources to ensure that shipping remains at the forefront of other transport modes in a sustainable future.

Notably, the Reception Ceremony of Henry was attended by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, who extended her support for the Dominican candidate for the position of IMO Secretary General. At the same time, the Foreign Minister of St Kitts and Nevis- Denzil Douglas and other leaders of CARICOM also marked their presence in her support.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr Vince Henderson, also hailed the capability of Cleopatra Doumbia – Henry, stating that she has been one true visionary leader who can foster global consensus while sticking fast to her ideals and delivering when it requires the most.

As per Henderson, She stands as a candidate who is totally efficient in bringing up a transformative change in any organization or institution she has led or leads.

The opportunity to lead the International Maritime Organization as the first female secretary from a developing state, is yet another opportunity for her to bring to effect, her visionary leadership, skills and knowledge in leading the maritime industry.

Her leadership will prepare the International Maritime Organization to swiftly tackle the issues such as the climate crisis and reduce the carbon footprint and decarbonization of the industry. She will ensure the deployment of technology to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in reshaping the fortune of the maritime sector.

Ensuring the global consensus, she will look upon building and collaborating with international organizations, member states and partners in the shipping industry. Dr Vince Henderson remarked her as a woman of integrity who stands for a sustainable and resilient future of the maritime sector.

Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, also expressed his pleasure in presenting Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry as their candidate for Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization.

In his perspective, Henry is a woman with excellent leadership skills, who has created a legacy of visionary and transformative leadership.

At the beginning of her career, Henry served at the International Labor Organization in 1980s, working across various units within the organization. During her tenure at ILO, she successfully lead the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, amending three conventions over 68 International Labor Standards.

She has culminated all her leadership qualities while her 8-year tenure at the World Maritime University. The University underwent significant expansion and the creation of new programmes that fall in line with the modern global issues of concern.

PM Skerrit added that Dominica is confident of her knowledge, experience and leadership that would surely transform the future of the Maritime sector. He appealed that: Let us make history by electing Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry as the first female secretary general from a developing country.”



Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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