Singapore has become the first country to ratify the Convention on the International Organisation for Marine Aids to Navigation, according to the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
In a statement, the MPA said the ratification will support the International Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to become an intergovernmental organisation.
As a major hub port and a coastal state situated along one of the world’s busiest waterways for international shipping, Singapore recognises the importance of IALA’s efforts to establish common technical standards for VTS and e-Navigation in promoting safe and efficient shipping, the MPA said.
Besides hosting various IALA workshops and courses over the years, Singapore also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IALA in 2018, which committed $750,000 (S$1 million) over five years to support capacity building and human resource development.
Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of IALA, said, “Over the years, the MPA has been instrumental in their active support to IALA and the generous sponsorship to the World-Wide Academy.
“Their strong experience and continued innovation, especially in the domains of vessel traffic services and e-navigation has greatly assisted the work of IALA.
“The MPA has also been instrumental in the change of status process and is now the first State to have ratified the Convention, for which I am very grateful.”
Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs, said, “Singapore supports the elevation of IALA’s status from a non-governmental organisation to an intergovernmental organisation.
“This will boost international participation in IALA’s activities and strengthen global cooperation and coordination in harmonising marine ATON and related services.
“As an IALA Council Member, Singapore strongly supports IALA in growing its mandate to improve navigational safety and the efficiency of maritime traffic for the global shipping community.”