In his goodwill message at the opening of the Global Maritime Security Conference, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization Mr. Kitack Lim said that the threat posed by piracy and armed robbery against ships has been on IMO’s agenda since the early 1980’s.
In the late 1990’s and the early 2000s, with the focus on the south China sea and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. He said that more recently, the focus on piracy activity turned to the African coasts, after the significant rise in such activities off Somalia and now the Gulf of Guinea. Wary of the threats and the challenges it poses to global maritime trade Mr. Lim who was represented by the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization Lawrence Barchue said that IMO has developed guidance on the suppression of piracy for use of both governments and ship-owners/operators, which has been supplemented by industry-developed “Best Management Practices”.
He further informed that guidance has also been issued on investigating piracy incidents, and this calls on States to investigate and persecute suspected perpetrators; and on using contracted armed security personnel, leading to an international standard being developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). While commending Nigeria for hosting the conference Nigeria he said the strategic location of the country in the region makes it important for it to continue to lead the quest for the security of the region.
“Nigeria sits at the heart of the Gulf of Guinea. This region is noted for huge oil and gas deposits, large mineral reserves and abundant fisheries as well as food and cash crops. This combined with geographically strategic location shipping movements, makes this region a vitally important part of the global economy” “the theme for this conference “let us join hands to manage and secure our waters”. Working together is something that the IMO is fully on board with. Together is something that IMO is fully on board with. Together we can team up to deploy resources from all stakeholders in order to comprehensively address maritime insecurity within the region Lim concluded
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