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CESMA. Council Meeting - AGA 2013

Le Council Meeting et l'AGA de CESMA se sont tenus à NANTES, Maison de la Mer, les 10 et 11 mai 2013.

       Cette année, c'est en France, à Nantes, que CESMA a organisé son Assemblée générale annuelle. L'organisation était portée par les deux adhérents français au CESMA, à savoir AFCAN et ACOMM.

       Lors du Council meeting du 10 mai, hors les questions finances (à noter que les cotisations ne bougeront pas pour 2014) et activités, le Vice-président Georgio RIBARIC, de l'association slovène, a été réélu pour un mandat de trois ans. Une nouvelle version du règlement intérieur (by-laws) a été présentée pour approbation par les membres du Council. De plus, un point a été fait sur la situation des associations-membres et les associations avec lesquelles CESMA est en discussion pour éventuelle adhésion.

       Le samedi matin 11 mai, après un mot d'accueil de la part des Présidents AFCAN et ACOMM, nous avons eu droit à 4 présentations, à savoir : le port de Nantes/Saint-Nazaire par H. Didier (capitaine de port de Nantes/Saint-Nazaire), l'application en France de la Convention MLC 2006 par F. Mandin (Office du droit des marins), la nouvelle formation à l'ENSM par F. Marendet (Directeur général de l'ENSM) et les modifications des lubrifiants et combustibles suite à la Directive soufre par F. Abiven (Total).
L'Assemblée générale s'est tenue après le déjeuner,
Cette Assemblée fut un réel succès, car presque toutes les associations-membres étaient représentées, à l'exception d'une des trois associations italiennes, l'association monténégrine, et l'association lithuanienne. Soit 13 associations sur 16 auxquelles il convient d'ajouter un membre individuel, et sur invitation, un représentant des pilotes européens (EMPA) ainsi qu'un représentant de l'association européenne des capitaines de port (EHMC).
L'AFCAN y avait 4 participants le jour de l'Assemblée générale ainsi que nos partenaires de l'ACOMM.
Parmi les sujets abordés, la criminalisation des capitaines (cf. résolution 1). Une attention spéciale a été portée au sujet du capitaine du Costa Concordia (membre de l'association italienne USCLAC, elle-même membre de CESMA), ainsi que sur les cas du capitaine bulgare Sobadzhiev incarcéré à Panama (toujours en attente d'un éventuel jugement) et du capitaine Mangouras du pétrolier Prestige.
Autre sujet, la piraterie, qui a vu un changement significatif de la position des capitaines européens quant à l'embarquement d'équipes de gardes armés sur les navires traversant les zones à haut risque.

       Suite aux débats entre les différentes associations, les sept résolutions suivantes ont été adoptées. Elles conduiront les activités de CESMA pendant l'année à venir.

       Enfin en 2014, l'association espagnole ACCMM organisera le Council Meeting et l'Assemblée générale à Barcelone.

Mot d'accueil AFCAN lors de l'Assemblée générale :

President, council members, captains, ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to all and to everyone.
We, at AFCAN, are happy and proud to be one of the two organizers of this CESMA AGA.
Let me time for few words, just to thank:
First: CESMA board members for their agreement to be in Nantes today.
Second: all of you, as European captains, for your attendance which shows your interest and the importance of European meetings.
Third, our today morning special guests who will certainly speak about important matters, important for seamen and especially for captains, such as maritime education, MLC 2006, sulfur directive and the port of Nantes / Saint-Nazaire.
And last but not least our local organizers from ACOMM and AFCAN, and beyond them Mr DAVID from ACOMM who was in charge since one year to report how were the meetings they hold locally for organization, which at least help me, as I am not close to Nantes, about how things were going on.
I wish to all of us a beneficial General Assembly.

Resolutions from the General Assembly:

RESOLUTION Nr. 1 : Criminalization of seafarers.
       The 18th Annual General Assembly in Nantes, France, again noted that the problem of criminalization of seafarers and of shipmasters in particular, continues to be a matter of great concern. Motives are comprehensive and sometimes difficult to prevent. Co-operation between all parties in the maritime industry is the best solution to tackle the problem of criminalization. CESMA urgently requests shipowners or operators to always provide legal protection to masters, serving on their ships, in case of an incident as a consequence of which they are detained by local authorities, until at least a verdict has been pronounced. Moreover masters are advised to take a risk insurance into consideration.

RESOLUTION Nr. 2 : Piracy and armed robbery.
       The Assembly again discussed the problem of piracy against ships in various parts of the world. All means to prevent these criminal acts should be activated to protect the lives of seafarers. Although CESMA is still critical about the use of fire-arms on board, as it could escalate violence, it came again to the conclusion that present efforts do not adequately protect seafarers from the effects of piracy. Therefore it does not oppose, as a temporary measure, the employment of internationally certified armed guard teams on board, either military or private, respecting the proper legislation in the various EU member States. It will adopt a practical position in line with European and international organizations on the condition that the authority of the master is efficaciously maintained, even when fire-arms have to be used only after agreement by the master. CESMA also insists on exact rules of engagement to be observed under all circumstances and internationally respected diplomatic protection of masters against liability at all times.

RESOLUTION Nr. 3 : Fatigue and safe manning.
       The Assembly again discussed fatigue in the shipping industry. The final results of the Project Horizon which investigated the consequences of fatigue in connection with maritime safety by means of simulation and is now acknowledged by the IMO, are strongly supported. It again noted with concern that the problem of fatigue is still not attracting enough attention. The requirement of a minimum of three certified bridge watchkeepers, including the master, on each seagoing vessel of 500 GT and more, is still supported by CESMA. It still denounces the flexibility clause in the stipulation of hours and work in the STCW Convention enabling the system of the six on six off watch schedule to be continued as it affects maritime safety and the health of the seafarers concerned. In determining the work and rest hours, the total work burden should be taken into account.

RESOLUTION Nr. 4 : Safety of roro and large passenger ships.
       The Assembly again discussed the safety of roro- and large passengerships. The vulnerability of car carriers is another matter of concern after the recent accident in the Northsea in which 11 seafarers lost their lives. CESMA will continue to closely follow the investigation into the accident with the italian flagged passengership ”Costa Concordia” to ensure a fair treatment of the master. Large passengerships with thousands of passengers and crew continue to be a concern view damage stability and debarkation of the many passengers in case of emergency.

RESOLUTION Nr. 5 : Safety of life saving equipments.
       The Assembly discussed again the safety of life saving equipments on board seagoing vessels including incidents and accidents during drills. It urges international bodies and flag States to introduce proper legislation to improve safety and design of life saving equipments in order to improve efficiency and avoid fatal accidents.

RESOLUTION Nr. 6 : Employment of EU seafarers.
       Considering the shortage of employment opportunities for young European officers on board EU-flag vessels, CESMA appeals to EU shipowners to create employment opportunities to assist these young officers to start their careers on operational level and allow them to obtain managerial level. In this way, maritime knowledge and experience within the European merchant fleet and maritime industry can be maintained. All efforts should be employed to interest European young people to choose for a maritime career.

RESOLUTION Nr. 7 : Implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention.
       The Assembly supports the introduction of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) as it aims to improve conditions for seafarers. However it expressed concern about the duties and liabilities of the master who is responsible, together with the owner, in implementing and maintaining the articles of the Convention.

Cdt Hubert Ardillon,
Président de l'AFCAN

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