A highlight of the meeting was a review of the progress that ReCAAP ISC has made towards its goal of becoming a Centre of Excellence for information sharing by 2020, a goal conceptualised at the 10th anniversary of ReCAAP ISC in 2016. The Strategy Paper and the Roadmap with Action Plan on the Future of ReCAAP ISC were subsequently developed, and it was endorsed by the Governing Council at its 11th Meeting in March 2017.
- The Council encouraged ReCAAP ISC to continue its mission and activities based on the roadmap, by working together with the ReCAAP Contracting Parties, Focal Points, and the maritime community and other stakeholders.
- Based on the Roadmap, the Council reviewed and endorsed the Workplan and the Budget for 2018 proposed by the Secretariat. A key focus of the Workplan for 2018 is to further enhance performance of ReCAAP ISC and ReCAAP Focal Points, including in the area of timely and accurate reporting and deep analysis of incidents, through the use of technology as well as through capacity building programmes.
- The Council also encouraged ReCAAP ISC to continue to engage regional and international organisations, governmental agencies shipping industry and research institutes under the pillar of Cooperative Arrangements. Finally, the Council endorsed the Blueprint of profiling and branding of ReCAAP ISC and encouraged its effective implementation.
- The Council recognised the importance of participation of all countries listed in Article 18(1) of the ReCAAP Agreement, and encouraging those who have yet to sign and ratify the Agreement to do so in order to collectively address these maritime challenges.
- The Council noted the presentation made by ReCAAP ISC on the situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia in 2017: There were 101 incidents in 2017 which was an increase of 16% compared to 2016, although only six were severe as compared to 13 in 2016. The Council noted this increase is a reminder that there is no room for complacency in the fight against piracy and armed robbery against ships, and underscored the need for enhanced vigilance among all stakeholders.
- The Council recognised the efforts of the Philippine authorities and the neighbouring countries in addressing the situation of abduction of crew from ships transiting the Sulu-Celebes Seas. The number of incidents (actual and attempted) has decreased from 18 in 2016 to 7 in 2017.
- However, it urged continued vigilance in the area and instructed ReCAAP ISC to monitor the situation closely, issue timely warning and alerts when necessary, and to share the analysis of the situation.
The 13th Governing Council Meeting of the ReCAAP ISC is scheduled on 18-22 March 2019 in Singapore.