The 7th Meeting of the IHO Council was held in Monaco from 17 to 19 October 2023. The Republic of Croatia attended the Meeting for the first time as a permanent Council member (for the next three-year period), represented by the HHI Director Vinka Kolić Bubić.
The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental technical and consultative organization contributing through its activities towards coordinated action of hydrographic offices, primarily aiming to support safety of navigation by providing high-quality nautical charts and publications as well as urgent navigation information. Croatia is a full member of the IHO, being recognized for its continued work and contribution as a proactive member within the hydrographic community. This year Croatia has taken a seat on the IHO Council (IHO Council) as permanent member, which is of great importance for continued development of hydrography in the Republic of Croatia.
The Council is the main operational body of the IHO, which in the inter-Assembly period implements the Assembly decisions, adopts the IHO annual work and financial plans, coordinates the implementation of three work programmes and the work of two committees, analyses the implementation of strategic goals, and brings forward proposals for consideration by the Assembly.
The 7th Meeting of the Council, according to the agenda, addressed regular issues pursuant to the Council rules of procedure. Besides usual topics, such as implementation of decisions from the 3rd Session of the IHO Assembly (April 2023) and last year’s Council decisions, as well as the IHO Strategic Plan 2021–2026 and the IHO Work Programme and Budget for 2024, the Meeting focused particularly on completion of the IHO S-100 standard series and adoption of the new version of Roadmap for the S-100 Implementation Decade (IHO S-100 Implementation Strategy).
Given the HSSC argument that the implementation of S-100 standards and products (particularly new generation of electronic navigational charts based on S-101 standard) proceeds slowly, the Council generally supported the idea to consider additional funding for the sustainable technical and administrative infrastructure related to the development of S-100 series. Therefore, the Council assigned the HSSC with the task of identifying at its next meeting the current or new components that are critical to the implementation of the S-100 Roadmap.
Among major decisions, the Council adopted the proposed amendments to the S-100 Roadmap so that the version 3.0, as presented by the HSSC Chairman, could enter into force as soon as possible.
Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the Council supported the new programme on gender equality, resulting from the project “Empowering Women in Hydrography”, and determined the next steps to be taken to continue the programme successfully. The Council also supported the initiative, as proposed by several members, on possible ways to ensure better participation of the representatives of HO’s in the work of the IHO bodies, committees and work groups.
The IHO Council, among others, supported the IRCC proposal to organise two workshops on the topics “Standards of Competence“ and “Crowdsourced bathymetry“.