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International Maritime Organization

The International Maritime Organization, headquartered in London, United Kingdom, is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for maritime transport. The IMO was established in principle following agreement at a UN conference held in Geneva in 1948, and the IMO came into existence ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959. The IMO’s primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping, and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical cooperation, maritime security, and the efficiency of shipping.

This committee is designed for both beginners and experienced delegates alike. Position papers, although strongly recommended, are not required. However, delegates who wish to be considered for an award must submit their position papers by February 1st, 2023, at 23:59 PT. More information about position papers will be found on page 3 of each Background Guide.

Topic A: Piracy in the 21st Century (Click to show summary)

Known as an ancient crime, maritime piracy has yet to disappear from our world: with its revival in the mid-1990s, a new golden age for pirates began. In the 21st century, maritime piracy continues to threaten countries all over the world. Although the crime’s resurgence happened 30 years ago, the international community has only addressed this problem seriously in the last 10 years. Nowadays, piracy is no longer a crime only affecting monetary loss, but also other societal issues including drug distribution, sex trafficking, and weapon smuggling. Therefore, it is imperative that humanity continues to adapt laws and change regulations in order to encompass all facets of this issue.

Topic B: The Rise of Megaships (Click to show summary)

Ever since the origin of marine transport, vessels have steadily grown in size. Today, the maritime industry is faced with so-called “megaships”—massive vessels, up to 400 metres long, which present unique challenges to existing infrastructure. Although certainly with benefits, they are far from perfect. Their mammoth nature makes navigating ports difficult, and poses numerous safety issues, among other concerns. Through debate and discussion, the International Maritime Organization must decide whether the benefits of megaships truly outweigh the costs, and devise a solution to best resolves the issue.

Angus Liu

Angus Liu | Director

Currently a Grade 12 student at Lord Byng Secondary School, Angus is elated to serve as your Assistant Director for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) at VMUN 2023. Since his first committee session, Angus has found himself enraptured by the engaging and countless fast-paced debates. Model UN has taught Angus the value of diplomacy, critical thinking, and of course, long-lasting friendships, which he believes is the most memorable part of any MUN conference. Outside the committee room, you can find Angus indulging in good Asian cuisine food, playing badminton, hanging out with his friends either on Discord or around Vancouver, or planning his next trip to Asia. Angus is thrilled to meet all of the delegates and wishes everyone the best of luck in their research for VMUN 2023!

Esther Xu

Esther Xu | Chair

A senior at Richmond Christian School, Esther is honoured to serve as the Chair of the International Maritime Organization. Since stumbling into her first Model United Nations conference in 2019 as a timid, wide-eyed delegate, Esther’s MUN journey has been nothing short of exhilarating. From navigating complex topics to exploring the maze of downtown skyscrapers with friends, Model UN has created numerous unforgettable experiences and deeply cherished memories. When she is not immersed in the world of MUN, Esther can be found sampling Vancouver’s best bubble tea, puzzling over quantum physics concepts, and hunting for Netflix shows to binge. She wishes delegates the best in their conference preparation and looks forward to an unforgettable weekend of passionate debate and diplomacy at this year’s iteration of VMUN!

Breanna Ho

Breanna Ho | Assistant Director

As a junior at Crofton House School, Breanna is honoured to serve as the Assistant Director of the International Maritime Organization Committee (IMO) at VMUN 2023. Since stumbling across the world of debate in grade eight, she has realized that being a part of heated discussions is nothing short of exhilarating. Through participating in several conferences over the years, Breanna has made meaningful friendships and gained invaluable experiences. Outside of the conference room (or bedroom), Breanna can be found laughing away with her friends in the back of the guard room, hesitantly fixing her friend’s makeup seconds before a dance competition, and wondering why her recent Sephora order just qualified her for another year of Rouge. Breanna is elated to meet all of the delegates and is looking forward to an extraordinary weekend of debate!

You can contact the Director at Any questions regarding the committee or its debate procedures will be answered by email. Position papers must also be submitted to this address.

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