IMO Queried on Members Obligations

This published by the Celtic League:

IMO Queried on Members Obligations


The Celtic League has sought clarification from the IMO about members of its present governing Council who have announced Search and Rescue restrictions in the Mediterranean area.

The move has recently been criticised by UN Special Rapporteur for Migrants, Francois Crepeau.

The text of our query is set out below:

“The Secretary-General
Mr. Koji Sekimizu
International Maritime Organisation
4 Albert Embankment


Dear Sir,

I understand that the European Union has said that it is to ‘scale down’ search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea ‘to deter migrants’ attempting to make the crossing from Africa to Europe.

The move has been criticised by migrant’s rights group and most recently by the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Migrants Rights, Francois Crepeau.

Can I enquire if the EU states which border the Mediterranean Sea (or the EU as an entity) are signatories to the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue?

Are any of the States which have determined to show disregard for their safety obligations under the search and rescue convention currently members of the Council of the IMO?

If they are signatories does not the clear statement that they do not intend in the future to pursue a coordinated search and rescue policy to address this issue place them in breach of the Convention?

Has the IMO and specifically your Office raised the matter with the governments concerned?”

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

Internet site at:

This blog is provided for general informational purposes only. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and not necessarily those of