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African States Meet To Further Anti-Piracy Agenda

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

01 August 2013

International experts on maritime and port security discussed initiatives to tackle piracy with more than 60 participants from the 20 coastal Member States of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), at an event co-organized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in Benin on July 22-25, 2013.

Experts from France, the United States Coast Guard, the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the international police organization, Interpol, shared their knowledge and respective areas of expertise on a range of issues, including the practical implementation of security measure in ports, the facilitation of maritime traffic, the suppression of piracy and armed robbery against ships, dealing with illicit maritime trafficking and countering transnational organized crime.

Welcoming the success of the event, the IMO said it presented an opportunity for closer collaboration with the PMAWCA as part of the Organization's continuing technical cooperation program in the region. The Organization pointed out that the seminar is an example of the "spirit of cooperation" outlined in the recently-signed Code of Conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit activity in west and central Africa.

PMAWCA Secretary General, Michael Luguje said: "Going forward, the PMAWCA will build on the issues raised in this seminar to create a network for sharing port and maritime security information, intelligence gathering and information sharing as the Association seeks to contribute towards the wider effort to strengthen maritime security."

TAGS: marine

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