The 2nd Council Meeting of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), hosted by the UKHO, was held in London from 9 to 12 October 2018. The Republic of Croatia participated in the meeting as an observer, represented by its delegates from the Hydrographic Institute: Vinka Kolić, director, and Željko Bradarić, assistant director for international cooperation.
The International Hydrographic Organization is an intergovernmental technical and consultative organization which through its activities contributes towards coordinated action of hydrographic offices, primarily aiming to support the safety of navigation. Croatia is a full member of the IHO, and for its continued contribution has been recognized as a proactive member within the hydrographic community.
The Council is the main operational body of the IHO, which during the inter-Assembly period implements the Assembly decisions, coordinates the IHO activities within the framework of three work programmes and two committees, analyses the implementation of strategic goals and brings forward proposals for consideration by the Assembly and the IHO member states.
The Council consists of representatives from 30 permanent members that take their seat on a regional basis and on the basis of hydrographic interests. The Council meets once a year (in October) at its ordinary meetings. Representatives of other members can also participate in the meeting, put forward proposals and participate in the discussions on all agenda items, but are not entitled to vote.
The 2nd Meeting of the IHO Council, according to the agenda, addressed regular issues in compliance with the Council rules of procedures. It focused particularly on two issues that are currently most important for the Organization, namely revision of the IHO Strategic Plan for the period until 2026, and status of implementation of S-100 standard series.
Croatia, recognizing the importance of these issues for the work of the IHO, besides providing general support by submitting preparatory documents for the meeting, contributed more specifically with an additional, more extensive comment during the meeting of the Assembly (link to file). It also participated in the discussion on this topic.
Among other topics, very interesting was the one concerning the collection of depth measurements from vessels while engaged in routine maritime operations, i.e. Crowd-Sourced Bathymetry. In this respect, Croatia particularly emphasized the need to recognize national regulatory requirements for depth measurements and possible restrictions in certain sea areas, as well as their publication on the IHO website.
Besides its active participation in the Council meetings, Croatian delegation organized and participated in several aside meetings, discussing different organizational, technical, administrative and financial issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, and exchanging experience regarding production lines used in different hydrographic offices.
Croatian representatives attended the World Hydrography Day celebration organized by the UKHO, which was held at Trinity House, where award for an exceptional contribution to the institution capacity building was granted to UKHO employee. The event was also attended by participants of the training course for worldwide recognized certification in nautical cartography (Cartographer B), which is sponsored by the IHO within the «Capacity Building for HOs» programme. A representative of Croatia attends this three-month training course at the UKHO.
The three-day Council meeting also included less formal talks and exchange of experiences with representatives of member states and numerous intergovernmental and other organizations which were present at the meeting as observers.
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