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2010 "Niki" Award Recipient

“ for his extraordinary contribution to the advancement of international law and technology for the safety of human life at sea and the protection of the marine environment worldwide ”

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7th Secretary-General
of the United Nations
International Maritime Organization imo

Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos is the seventh Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Agency, concerned with maritime safety and security and the prevention of sea pollution from ships. The IMO is the world’s pre-eminent maritime body and the only forum where safety, security and pollution prevention and control standards affecting shipping are developed and adopted.

He was born in Piraeus, Greece, in 1939, to a genuinely maritime family from Galaxidi, a major Greek maritime centre during the tall ships’ era.

Graduating with honors from the Merchant Marine Academy, he apprenticed on merchant ships and then joined the Hellenic Coast Guard, from where he also graduated with honors.  He went on to study shipping economics in Italy (Rome, Venice and Genoa) and marine technology (fire protection and life-saving appliances) in the United Kingdom (Lloyd’s Register of Shipping).

He joined the IMO secretariat in 1979 and in 1985 was appointed head of the Navigation Section. In 1989 he became Senior Deputy Director for Navigation and Related Matters and in 1992 was appointed Director of the Maritime Safety Division. In 2000 he was designated Assistant Secretary-General. Mr. Mitropoulos was elected Secretary-General of the IMO Council in 2003 and his mandate was renewed for a further four years until 31 December 2011.

Mr. Mitropoulos’ goal has been the regulation of the shipping industry through a competent, international body that can establish the appropriate global standards.

He is the author of seven books and has been honored with numerous medals, awards, and memberships in Greece and abroad including Commander, Order of the Phoenix of the Hellenic Republic, Commendatore, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, US Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award and Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite Maritime de la France.

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