Nairobi: Consensus building amid a fractured, regionally split membership of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) forms a key plank of Juvenal Shiundu’s bid to become the next secretary-general of the UN body. With voting set to take place at the end of this month to elect a new leader of shipping’s regulatory body, Shiundu is the fourth of six candidates to feature on Maritime CEO.
The Kenyan national’s CV speaks for itself in terms of his capabilities to take the IMO London posting. Shiundu is a trained naval architect and has had previous roles in maritime administration and 17 years of UN and IMO diplomacy and implementation of technical assistance programmes.
“Given also my previous executive leadership roles backed by diplomatic skills that drive consensus-building, IMO under my leadership will be both inclusive, adaptive and responsive in its approach to issues and challenges facing the industry,” Shiundu says.
His past includes managing a shipyard facility with a staff strength of 350 during which time he spearheaded the company to attain quality assurance certification under the ISO 9000, way back in 1995.
Priorities for Shiundu if elected include making the secretariat both efficient and cost-effective, with increased accountability and transparency at all levels.
Secondly, Shiundu says he will continue to drive the review and reform of IMO.
Finally, Shiundu will look to address regional factionalism within IMO. “In recent years,” he notes, “the organisation has been witnessing attempts by a certain regional constituency – involving a number of IMO Member States – to steer support toward regulatory initiatives well outside the scope of IMO’s established framework. If such divisive pattern is allowed to prevail, it would challenge the organisation’s authority and legitimacy. If elected, one of my priorities would be to build consensus among Member States of the twin governing bodies, leading to curtailment of such initiatives.”