The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council has appointed Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco from the Republic of Panama as the next Secretary-General, marking the beginning of an initial 4-year term. Assuming approval from the Assembly, Velasco will assume office on January 1, 2024.
The decision to appoint Velasco was made through a secret ballot during the 129th session of the IMO Council, held from July 17 to July 21, 2023. This announcement follows the upcoming conclusion of Kitack Lim’s term as the current Secretary-General from the Republic of Korea, set to end on December 31, 2023.
During the selection process, seven member states of the IMO nominated candidates for the Secretary-General position. The nominees included Moin Uddin Ahmed from Bangladesh, Suat Hayri Aka from Turkey, Arsenio Antonio Dominguez Velasco from Panama, Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry from Dominica, Nancy Karigithu from Kenya, Minna Kivimäki from Finland, and Zhang Xiaojie from China.
With the election of Dominguez completed, the Council’s decision will now undergo consideration and approval at the 33rd session of the IMO Assembly, scheduled for late 2023.
Currently, Dominguez serves as the Director of the Marine Environment Division at the IMO. He previously held the positions of Director of the Administrative Division and Chief of Staff within the organization.
Before joining the IMO in July 2017, Dominguez had an extensive career at the Panama Maritime Authority. From 1998, he served as the Head of the Regional Technical and Documentation Office for Europe and North Africa. Additionally, he fulfilled the role of Alternate Representative and Technical Adviser of Panama to the IMO from 2004 to 2014.