ARUSHA, Tanzania–From April 26th to 29th, 100 delegates from 30 States as well as Regional and International organisations will discuss Maritime Security issues and initiatives at a Ministerial conference in Mauritius.
This major event is organized by the Republic of Mauritius, current chair of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and the Secretary General of IOC, with the support of the European Union (EU) through the Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Maritime Security Programme – MASE.
A meeting of High Officials will be held from 26th to 27th April to prepare the Ministerial Conference which is scheduled for the 28th and 29th April 2018. A Ministerial Declaration with an action plan will be adopted at the end of the meeting.
This document focuses on all the issues of Maritime Security namely cooperation mechanisms, the fight against illegal fishing and maritime traffickings (drugs, human, money laundering), terrorist risk, environmental crimes and marine pollution.
One of the outcome of the Ministerial Conference is the signature of the two regional agreements on the exchange of maritime information and the coordination of operations at sea. These agreements, developed as part of the EU-funded MASE programme, reflect the willingness of the regional States (IOC member States, Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia) to enhance their collaboration to tackle effectively maritime threats and crimes.
The setting up of the two regional centres, one specialized in the exchange and sharing of maritime information in Madagascar and the other one specialized in the coordination of operations at sea, based in Seychelles, are the core subjects of these agreements.
They will be useful instruments for securing the 6 million km2 vast ocean areas of the of the Western Indian Ocean.