International Ocean Institute - Malta Operational Centre

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About IOI International


IOI is an independent, non-governmental, international non-profit organisation incorporated in the Netherlands, with Headquarters at the University of Malta. It was founded in 1972 by Professor Elisabeth Mann Borgese.

The mission of the International Ocean Institute is:



to promote education, training and research to enhance the peaceful uses of ocean space and its resources, their management and regulation as well as the protection and conservation of the marine environment, guided by the principle of the Common Heritage of Mankind


Elisabeth Mann Borgese 1918-2002
(click here for biography)

The IOI's scope and presence is global. The IOI system operates by means of 17 Operational Centres spread worldwide. One of these Centres is in Malta , the IOI - Malta Operational centre (IOI-MOC) and forms part of the University of Malta. The IOI co-operates with the United Nations system, e.g. UNESCO-IOC, IMO, UNEP and with several other NGOs at local and regional level.

Pacem in Maribus

Pacem in Maribus (PIM) conventions started being organised annually by IOI since 1970. Malta hosted the first five conferences which then started being held in other countries. The importance of the oceans is recognised on a national, regional, international, trans-national, and global level where oceans are considered as being the common heritage of mankind, a concept developed by Arvid Pardo.

The conferences organised so far focused on international ocean affairs. Topics ranged from arms control and monitoring and surveillance in the oceans, to management and conservation of marine resources, to the feasibility of common shipping lines or on Ocean Development Tax. The results of the research projects, regional seminars and other studies carried out by IOI, are also discussed during Pacem in Maribus. The PIM conferences have mainly contributed to the development and formation of the UN convension on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Building Bridges to Integrated Oceans Governance: Linking Ocean Science, Engineering, Science and Policy will be the title of the next PIM Conference which will be held in Townsville , Queensland , Australia. The 31st conference will start on 31st October until 2nd November 2005.

(Click here for more info)

PIM 2007

In an evolving scenario where Malta as a new EU member state can have a stronger voice, thus strengthening its mission to promote stronger North-South linkages in the Mediterranean region, and taking note of the role that the Government of Malta has expressly proposed to champion on the concept of a common management approach for the marine resource and heritage in the region, it makes much sense to bring back PIM to Malta. The IOI-Malta Operational Centre was offered the opportunity to host the 32nd Pacem in Maribus Conference in Malta in 2007.The central theme for PIM 2007 is intendedto focus on therole of the youth in the oceans.

Besides the bi-annual PIM conferences, the IOI institute organises several regional meetings in co-operation with the Governments of the hosting countries, during which experts discuss and analyse the impacts of marine-related activities and other activities that have negative effects on the sea.

Arvid Pardo and Elisabeth Mann Borgese
Meeting of the Planning Council Members, Fiji 1999
The President of Malta Dr. Guido De Marco at the PIM conference held in Fiji in 1999

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