Liberia to re-join global maritime organization

Liberia is set to be readmitted into the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).

This is because the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA) has made significant strides as the world’s second largest ships registry.

Lenn Eugene Nagbe, head of the LMA, speaking recently to executives of IALA, emphasized the West African nation’s preparedness to rejoin the organization to help galvanize training and other navigational activities in keeping with its obligations as a flag, port and coastal state.

Nagbe said “It is a preconditional imperative that we accede to IALA, the body that sets standards for aids of navigation and vessel traffic management in an industry that Liberia plays a leading role.

“It is even more relevant now as we are making investments in the modernization of our port infrastructures to glean from the experience and knowledge of this international body.”

Liberia joined the organization at its formation in 1957 but withdrew in 1983 for unexplained reasons, making it unable to access the many programs and activities of the organization.

According to a press release from the Liberian embassy in France, Nagbe said Liberia was now prepared to get re-admitted so as to explore the many benefits that member countries enjoy.

The Secretary General of IALA Francis Zachariae applauded Liberia for wanting to re-join the organization, noting that the country was an important member back then.

Mr. Zachariae said Liberia’s overall contributions remain second to none because of its experience and expertise in the maritime program for many years.

He expressed joy over the decision to see Liberia back in its fold and thanked Commissioner Nagbe, on behalf of the organization, for Liberia’s saying its want to come back into the fold of the IALA.

IALA is a body that deals with its consultative and technical nature and its principal aim is to foster the safe and efficient movement of vessels.

It works to improve and harmonize marine aids to navigation for the benefit of the maritime community and the protection of the marine environment.

The organization also brings together representatives of about 80 countries for technical coordination, information sharing and coordination of improvements to aids to navigation globally.

It was established in 1957 to provide a permanent organization to support the goals of the Technical Lighthouse Conferences which had been convening since 1929.

A 24-member council meets twice a year to oversee IALA’s programs while its general assembly congregates every four years.

Liberia’s maritime program was established in 1948 with strong support from the United States of America. 

In 1949, Liberia became a founding member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and has over the years played a critical role in promulgating maritime safety, security and environmental protection.