A Filipino envoy has been elected president of the 32nd International Maritime Organization (IMO) assembly. Antonio Manuel Lagdameo, Philippine Ambassador to the Court of St. James (United Kingdom), is the first Filipino to be elected head of the IMO assembly.
IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that sets global standards for the safety, security, and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted, and universally implemented.
On the other hand, the IMO Assembly is its highest governing body. It is responsible for approving the work program and budget, determining financial arrangements, and electing the IMO Council. The Assembly consists of all Imo Member States and meets once every two years.
“On behalf of the Philippines delegation for the IMO General Assembly Meeting in the UK, our heartfelt congratulation to Amb. Antonio M. Lagdameo for his election as President of the IMO Assembly. What a great honor to be part of this historic feat! This assures that our voice in support to all seafarers especially the 800,000 Filipino Seafarers (Modern Heroes) worldwide will be heard,” said Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, administrator of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina).
Lagdameo is a seasoned diplomat who has previously served as the Philippine Ambassador to the United Mexican States in 2007 and the Philippine Ambassador to Spain in 2008. He is now in his second tour of duty as the country’s envoy to the Court of St. James. Before joining the Philippine Foreign Service, Lagdameo served the Philippine government in various capacities, chief among them was his leadership of the Philippine Racing Commission from 1994 to 1998. As a staunch advocate and supporter of Philippine arts and culture, he spearheaded various programs and initiatives aimed at positioning the Philippines as a cultural superpower in London, and at using culture and the arts as building blocks to stronger Philippine-British relations.
The Ambassador graduated with a Pre-Med, Associate in Arts degree from the University of the Philippines in 1961 and after which proceeded to obtain a Bachelor of Arts Major in Accounting from the University of the East three years later.
He obtained his graduate degree in business administration from Ateneo de Manila University’s Graduate School of Business Administration in 1971.