Thursday, April 10, 2014

Piracy and sea robbery summit sets target on emerging challenges

Pic courtesy: AdvanFort

The Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2014, the sixth event in the series that was held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week, jointly organised by the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) and  S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), was held in Singapore on April 8 with the theme — Piracy and Sea Robbery: Emerging Challenges.

According to a joint Media statement released after the event, the aim of this conference was to provide a platform for all to be apprised of the latest trends and assessments of piracy and sea robbery situation in Asia in 2014 that included sharing of case studies for best management practices and lessons learned, and to express views on the current situation and propose possible solutions to address the challenges.

The theme was very timely given the expansion of membership of ReCAAP and the discussion on the “Future of the ReCAAP ISC” as an agenda item of the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council Meeting.

Delivering the opening remarks at the conference, Ambassador Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Governor (Thailand), also the Chairperson of the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council, noted the emergence of certain patterns and trends and the modus operandi of pirates and robbers. He emphasized the need for timely and accurate situation awareness.

“This would empower the authorities and shipping industry to derive appropriate counter-measures to tackle the emerging threats and challenges at sea,” he added. 
He stated that although the overall improvement of piracy and sea robbery situation in Asia has continued in 2014 first quarter since 2010, there is however no room for complacency.
For the first time, the conference offered two interactive panel discussions with distinguished and renowned panelists who were experts in their own fields. These panel discussions, moderated by Dr. Euan Graham of RSIS, focussed on evolving challenges and converging solutions respectively. Audiences participated actively at both the discussions posing numerous thought-provoking questions based on different perspectives.

In the closing remarks delivered by Mr. Yoshihisa Endo, the Executive Director of the ReCAAP ISC, he appreciated the turn-out rate of 170 participants. These included Heads of Diplomatic mission of ReCAAP’s Contracting Parties, Government agencies from Malaysia and Singapore, ASF1, distinguished national shipping associations of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (INSA2, MASA3 and SSA4), higher learning institutes (CIL5 and SMA6), research institutes (KAS7 and NAMARIN8), other stakeholders and like-minded individuals.

He reiterated the paramount importance of cooperation among all stakeholders and the essentiality of information-sharing in supporting ReCAAP ISC’s continued development as the foremost organisation in promoting and enhancing regional cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia

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