Former IMO secretary-general William O’Neil dies, aged 93

William O’Neil, the second longest serving secretary-general at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) passed away last week, aged 93.

The Canadian headed up the UN agency from 1990 to 2003.

“It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Mr. O’Neil, who was a great friend and mentor who made a huge personal contribution to securing globally applicable safety, security and environmental standards,” Kitack Lim, the current IMO secretary-general, said.

Guy Platten, secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), commented: “William’s time as secretary-general left a lasting impact on not just the International Maritime Organization, but on many other wider groups and organisations including the ICS. His guidance and leadership was invaluable during a stellar career, not limited to when he served as secretary-general. He encouraged wide participation in the IMO from across the maritime sector, and inspired the adoption of many initiatives tackling global issues for shipping, which still benefit us today.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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