Focus on information sharing to boost maritime security in Western Indian Ocean

Regional efforts to enhance maritime security are dependent on good information sharing, through multi-agency National Maritime Information Sharing Centres. An IMO-led regional workshop on information sharing in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden ((3-5 March) brought together participants from 14 signatory States  to the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) and its Jeddah Amendment, which aims to counter and suppress crime in the maritime domain.

Participants discussed how best to set up national maritime information sharing centres and agreed on the need to establish legal frameworks at national level, to ensure coordination and full participation of all agencies.

The workshop was organised following the establishment last year of a Working Group on Information Sharing. This was part of a plan of action adopted by States in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden area to ensure better coordination of regional efforts to enhance maritime security. Recommendations from the workshop will be fed into the next Jeddah Amendment high-level workshop, scheduled to be held later this year.

The workshop was held at the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC), Djibouti,  and attended by 24 participants from Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania (United Republic of), and Yemen. The workshop was organized by IMO and supported by the United Kingdom, who provided technical experts. Funding came from a Japanese contribution to the DCoC Trust Fund to support training activities at the DRTC.