States to an agreement aimed at repressing piracy, armed robbery and illicit
maritime activity in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area have
agreed that building response capability and information sharing are vital
steps towards achieving a safer and secure maritime environment, says an IMO
signatories to the revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy,
armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in the western Indian
Ocean and the Gulf of Aden Area, known as the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti
Code of Conduct 2017, were meeting In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a high level
workshop (7-10 May) for all signatory States and States eligible to sign the
Jeddah Amendment, donors and implementing partners.
workshop, convened by IMO with the theme of “Taking action to enhance regional
maritime security”, discussed the next steps in implementing the Djibouti Code
of Conduct and its 2017 Jeddah Amendments, in order to strengthen regional
cooperation and information sharing to ensure safe and secure regional waters.
Information sharing could include data related to maritime crimes, best
practices, legal frameworks, training programmes and national initiatives that
will lead to enhanced maritime domain awareness – the effective understanding
of what happens at sea and effective maritime security.
participants agreed that piracy off the coast of Somalia is contained, but
continues to be a threat. A long term comprehensive solution is required that
also addresses other maritime security issues. These could include
transnational organised crimes, including smuggling of people, trafficking of
drugs, weapons, wildlife, and charcoal, illegal, unregulated and unreported
fishing, violent extremism and maritime terrorism, including the risk of
attacks against oil and gas installations and transport systems, They also
emphasized the need to consider good maritime security as a prerequisite for a
well-developed maritime sector in the region and for a thriving blue economy
within the context of sustainable development goals.
participants re-emphasised their commitment to developing capability, legal
frameworks and inter-agency cooperation at national level as the foundation for
effective regional cooperation in tackling maritime insecurity. This will allow
countries to develop and strengthen the opportunities provided by the blue
economy for the well-being of their respective population.
a range of presentations, participants and observer delegations witnessed a
large-scale exercise and demonstration by the Border Guard of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia which included a number of maritime focused scenarios. Briefings
by all participants on national achievements, plans and provided an opportunity
for experience sharing and lessons learned, to enhance alignment of national
plans with regional plans and to facilitate requests for external assistance
from development partners.
Participants and observer delegations also benefitted from a visit to the
state-of-the-art Jeddah Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre and received a
demonstration of the MRCCs capability. Participants and observer delegations
also had the opportunity to visit the excellent training facilities and
instructors at the Mohammed bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and Security
Studies which have facilitated the provision of high quality training to
maritime security practitioners throughout the region.
workshop, held at the Mohammed bin Naif Academy for Maritime Science and
Security Studies in Jeddah, was hosted by the Border Guard of the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia, by kind permission of HRH Prince AbdulAziz bin Saud bin Naif bin
AbdulAziz, Minister of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was opened
by Vice Admiral Awwad Eid Al-Balawi, Director General of the Border Guard of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Mr. Chris Trelawny, Special Advisor to the
Secretary-General of IMO.
high-level meeting was attended by representatives from: Comoros, Djibouti,
Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan,
United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen. Observers attended from: Denmark, Japan,
Norway, United Kingdom and United States. Representatives also attended from
the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Union,
the Indian Ocean Commission, the International Criminal Police Organisation –
INTERPOL, the East Africa Standby Force and the One Earth Future Foundation.
The workshop participants welcomed the capacity building work of international
organisations, including IMO, INTERPOL, and the UNODC, as well as
non-governmental organizations, including the One Earth Future Foundation’s
Stable Seas project and the SafeSeas initiative led by Cardiff University.
Donors were thanked, in particular Japan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for
their contributions to the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund administered by
IMO. Further donations were requested to support the implementation of the
Code, including assistance to the Djibouti Regional Training Centre.