Global forum seeks to criminalise illegal maritime activities
Information sharing, collaboration key to security in GoG, says UK
The Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) is seeking the criminalisation of insecurity and proceeds of illegal maritime activities.Rising yesterday from a three-day engagement at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, the forum wanted the acts to be treated like the case of Blood Diamond.
In a communiqué termed ‘Abuja Declaration on the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) Crisis’, the conferees also agreed to constitute a ‘GMSC expert working group’ to drive the implementation of the decisions from the gathering in liaison with Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and other international partners.
Delegates from about 80 countries attended the event.
The communiqué session chaired by the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, and read by Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, before about 2,000 participants, resolved that “Gulf of Guinea 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 internationally banned as was the case with the ‘Blood Diamond’.”
The conference called for collaboration among the navies, coast guards and maritime authorities of countries in the GoG and other maritime nations.
Earlier at a press briefing, Richard Morris of the United Kingdom Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Programme, an arm of the British Ministry of Defence, called for teamwork among countries in the GoG.
He also called for deliberate efforts to dismantle legal, institutional and territorial impediments to joint security actions in the region.Morris noted that the British government was prepared to support countries in the region to achieve their maritime security aspirations.Earlier, speakers from France, Denmark, United States (U.S.), Japan, the European Union (EU) and a host of other countries pledged their readiness to contribute to the security efforts in the GoG.
The Federal Ministry of Transportation, the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA convened the conference themed ‘Managing and Securing our Waters’ to find solution to maritime insecurity in the GoG.