Communique for the global Maritime Security Conference 2019

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IN view of the reported incidents of insecurity in the GoG, the interconnectedness of the maritime environment and the shared responsibility for effective ocean governance and maritime security, the Federal Ministry of Transportation in conjunction with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Nigerian Navy organised a Global Maritime Security Conference, on behalf of Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, between 7 – 9 October 2019 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The Conference was attended by international, continental and regional maritime institutions and stakeholders as well as representatives from over 80 nations. The 3-day Conference featured deliberations on 11 thematic panels where experts led discussions and proffered solutions options on a wide spectrum of maritime security and development issues in the region.

According to the communique signed by Dakuku Peterside, Director General/CEO of NIMASA, a number of observations were made during the conference on 4 major clusters of issues to an amenable regional maritime environment.

These were:

  1. The legal/policy/regulatory framework for maritime security.
  2. The institutional framework and capacities.
  3. The material, human, financial, technological and other

resources needed to enhance security in the GoG.

  1. The ways and means of implementing the necessary

strategies for enhanced maritime security in the region.

  1. In view of these observations, the Conference resolved as

follows:

  1. States of GoG and her international partners should give

priority attention to training and capacity building for relevant

stakeholders involved in maritime security including national

maritime authorities, law enforcement agencies and navies as

first responders.

  1. Navies/Coast Guards and maritime law enforcement

agencies in the GoG states should engage in regular joint

maritime operations, including with international partners, to

harmonise operational procedures, training standards and

foster interoperability.

  1. GoG States should explore the possibility of designated

maritime courts to handle cases of sea robbery, piracy and

other maritime offences to ensure quick dispensation of cases

in addition to capacity building and sensitization of judiciary

on crucial relevant legislation.

  1. GoG States should put more efforts to implement various

agreed strategies at the continental, regional and national

levels.

  1. GoG States with the support of regional organisations

like the ECOWAS, ECCAS, ICC and relevant international

organisations should continue to ratify and fully domesticate

the provisions of the relevant international conventions

including UNCLOS 1982, SUA and Port States Measures

Agreement.

  1. GoG countries should explore alternative and innovative

sources of funding for their maritime security and law

enforcement agencies to enhance the effectiveness of their

response to maritime incidents.

  1. GoG States should establish repeatable, documentable

frameworks for interagency cooperation.

  1. GoG states are encouraged to strengthen mechanisms

and structures for engagement with the local communities,

fishing communities and seafarers including private

stakeholders for economic benefits.

  1. GoG States should strengthen, including funding,

national, zonal and regional maritime domain awareness

centres to enhance information sharing and coordination.

  1. GoG States are encouraged to sustain regular meeting of

heads of states, heads of navies/coast guards and other

maritime enforcement agencies on issues of maritime security

for mutual benefit.

  1. Relevant regional maritime agencies should engage

industry experts/representatives for informed policy decision

on maritime security and related issues.

  1. GoG States should promote strategic communications

initiative to enhance awareness on maritime security concerns

and potential benefits.

  1. GoG States should engage in maritime spatial planning

of coastal and urban areas to ensure that maritime security

vulnerabilities are not created particularly in proximity to

critical maritime infrastructure.

  1. GoG States should explore opportunities for maritime law

enforcement through targeted engagement with coastal and

fishing communities to support maritime security efforts.

  1. GoG States and the international community should put

mechanisms in place to ensure that resources that are illegally

harvested/explored in the GoG, including stolen oil and Illegal

Unreported and Unregulated Fishery, are intentionally banned

as was the case with the “blood diamonds”.

  1. Conveners of this Conference in liaison with ECOWAS,

ECCAS, ICC should constitute a GMSC expert working group to

drive the implementation and decisions arising from the

Conference.

  1. The Honourable Minister of Transportation of Nigeria

should communicate the decisions and recommendations of

this Conference to the Presidency of Nigeria and onward to

ECOWAS, ECCAS, GGC, AU, IMO and other international partners.

-Oct 9, 2019 @19:15 GMT |

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