On January 26, France and the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) held a signing ceremony for the Convention on the International Organization for Marine Aids to Navigation. France is the depository state for this convention, which elevates IALA's status to that of an international organization.
Twenty-six countries, represented by their foreign minister or their ambassador to Paris, signed the convention at IALA's headquarters in Saint-Germain-en-Laye: Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia and Vanuatu.
They will be among the new organization's founding members, along with the other 24 countries that had already signed the convention: France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Malaysia, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Panama, Canada, Japan, Morocco, India, Romania, Brazil, Belgium, Turkey, Ecuador, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Germany and Russia.
The convention will enter into force once it has been ratified by 30 countries. Five have already done so: Japan, Singapore, Norway, Malaysia and India. They will soon be joined by France.
The convention will give the IALA an international legal personality and the legal capacity it needs to encourage and facilitate the widespread adoption of standards on marine aids to navigation in order to boost safety and efficiency in this field.
The establishment of an international organization for marine aids to navigation will enhance the international community's efforts to improve the safety of people and goods on the sea, the efficiency of marine navigation and the environment. The organization will play a leading role in ocean governance, a crucial area for international and multilateral cooperation.
Given that international organizations play a central role in global governance and in strengthening multilateralism, the French authorities are delighted to host a new international organization on their soil.