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Highlights From Yesterday’s Opening Ceremony And Thematic Sessions At The Ongoing #GMSC2019

A recap from yesterday’s opening ceremony and thematic sessions at the ongoing #GMSC2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (State) told participate that Federal
Government remains determined to rid the country’s waters of all forms of criminalities, stressing that with the cooperation of the international community, the entire maritime domain of the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) would be free from piracy.

He said the efforts of the government to fight maritime insecurity were already yielding fruit, quoting statistics by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy reporting centre.

The President said as Africa proceeded with the second phase of negotiations for the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), safety and security of sea transportation were critical to seamless trade and effective economic integration.

“Our approach, therefore, towards the realisation of maritime security in the region and other vital sea lanes is contingent on our collective effort and ability to put in place international, continental, regional and national frameworks and resources in cooperation with critical stakeholders,” Buhari said.

@PetersideDakuku, in his welcome address, advocated a more profound global response to the issues of piracy and maritime criminality, saying this is the essence of the conference.

He said, “Nigeria has taken the initiative by convening this global conference to examine the maritime security challenges in the region. Nigeria is keen to drive this initiative because it is a significant destination in the international and domestic shipping map, accounting for over 65% of cargo generated from the Gulf of Guinea region and with rich endowments in oil and gas reserves.”

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He identified the objectives of the conference to include defining the scope of coordinated regional responses to maritime insecurity vis-à-vis intervention support from external actors and partners, evaluating the relevance and impacts of the various interventions, and moving towards policy harmonisation and practical implementation through regional integration and cooperation as a principal method for delivering effective and efficient security in the region.

Secretary General of @IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, in his goodwill message delivered by Assistant Secretary General Lawrence Barchue, stated IMO’s support for member-states’ efforts to enhance maritime security.

“Working together is something that IMO is fully onboard with; together we can team up to deploy resources from all stakeholders in order to comprehensively address maritime insecurity within the region,” he said.

Other speakers at the event include Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi (Rtd); Executive Secretary, Gulf of Guinea Commission, Florentina Adenike Ukonga; Chairperson, African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat; as well as the ECOWAS and ECCAS Presidents.

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