Senior officers of maritime law enforcement and regulatory agencies from 16 ReCAAP Member States gathered in Seoul, South Korea, on 13 November, for a two-day meeting to discuss the evolving maritime security situation, and strengthen their collective efforts in the shared mission to combat piracy and sea robbery in Asia.
Hosted by ReCAAP’s Korean Focal Point, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, and co-organised with ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), the Focal Point Senior Officers’ Meeting (FPSOM) will provide an update on the latest situation of piracy and sea robbery in Asia and share best practices from participating agencies. There will also be discussions of common issues such as “timely and accurate information sharing” and “anti-piracy legislation.”
A representative of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will share its expertise on anti-piracy legislation. As part of the programme, participants will also have a dialogue with the South Korean shipping industry.
The meeting coincides with the release of ReCAAP ISC’s monthly report which revealed that the total number of incidents against ships in Asia during January-October 2018 has decreased by 5% compared to the same period in 2017, as the number of actual incidents reported was the lowest among a 10-year reporting period.
From January to October 2018, there were a total of 70 incidents of piracy and sea robbery in Asia, representing 5% of decrease compared to the same period in 2017. However, there was a recurrence of an incident of abduction of crew in September in the waters off eastern Sabah, after more than a year of absence. The risk to the safety of maritime transport and well-being of seafarers in the region remains, and the maritime community must be vigilant. ReCAAP ISC will continue to work closely with Focal Points and regional authorities to provide stakeholders with timely and accurate information and strengthen capability of Focal Points through capacity building activities such as FPSOM,
…said Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC.
The ReCAAP Member Countries represented at FPSOM 2018 are Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Vietnam.