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New Anti-Piracy Code Drafted By West African States

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

27 March 2013


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has pledged its support to assist in the implementation of a new Code of Conduct concerning the prevention and repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa, which has been adopted at a Ministerial meeting in Cotonou, Benin.

The Code is expected to be opened for signature at the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of Central and West African States, in Yaounde, Cameroon, in May 2013.

Welcoming the adoption of the Code, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said: “The IMO has been working for a number of years with international development partners on a number of activities aimed at enhancing the ability of individual States in the region, and the wider sub-region, to build a sustainable maritime capacity and we look forward to continuing to work with them to support the implementation of this Code and to work together to repress piracy, armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activity off the coasts of west and central Africa. We look forward to continuing to work with the countries to assist in the implementation of this new Code.”

The IMO assisted the Economic Community of West African States in the drafting of the Code, which incorporates many elements of the IMO-developed Djibouti Code of Conduct, signed by 20 States in the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden area, as well as provisions from the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a sub-regional integrated coast guard function network in West and Central Africa, developed in 2008 by IMO and the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa.

Under the new Code, signatories intend to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships, transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illegal activities at sea with a view towards:

  • Sharing and reporting relevant information;
  • Interdicting ships and/or aircraft suspected of engaging in such illegal activities at sea;
  • Ensuring that persons committing or attempting to commit illegal activities at sea are apprehended and prosecuted; and,
  • Facilitating proper care, treatment, and repatriation for seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to illegal activities at sea, particularly those who have been subjected to violence

TAGS: marine

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