ReCAAP hosts meet
Discussed increase in piracy for 2015
ReCAAP hosts 10th Governing Council Meeting.
At the 10th Governing Council Meeting of the ReCAAP ISC held on 15-17 March 2016 in Singapore hosted by the Singapore Government, Governors from the ReCAAP countries1 commended the ReCAAP ISC on achieving further milestones in research and analysis, capacity building, engagement and co-operation with other organisations with interests in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships. Partner Organisations and maritime industry, as well as External Participants also participated in the OPEN Session of the Meeting.
The expansion of ReCAAP membership from the original 14 States to 20 to-date demonstrates ReCAAP’s credibility and growing relevance in the international maritime community, and further underscores the importance of international cooperation in combating piracy and armed robbery effectively. In this light, the Council recognised the importance of full participation of all countries listed in Article 18(1) of the ReCAAP Agreement, and hoped that those who have yet to sign and ratify the Agreement would do so, to collectively address the issue of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. The Council also welcomed external participants2 to attend part of its deliberations.
The Governing Council continued the discussion on the Future of the ReCAAP ISC and established a Working Group with its mandate to chart a Road Map for the ReCAAP ISC to become a Centre of Excellence for Information Sharing; covering a period of ten years (from 2016-2026) and beyond. The Governing Council also agreed to expedite this process by 2020.
The Council further noted the release of ReCAAP ISC’s Annual Report 2015 which reported the number of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia which was a 7% increase compared to 2014. The Council welcome the improving situation on a monthly basis from August to December 2015 and no incidents of hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo since September 2015. While noting the overall situation in Asia was heading for improvement with efforts of various regional enforcement agencies, the Council advocated sustained coordinated efforts and collaboration among the ReCAAP Focal Points, shipping industry and regional authorities to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. To enable a more effective response and encourage multichannel reporting, as advocated by the IMO MSC Circ. 1333/1334, the Council urges ship masters to report incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the relevant authorities immediately.
The Council applauded ReCAAP ISC’s efforts in publishing the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia with its like-minded organisations in February 2016 after the successful launch of the Guide for Tankers Operating in Asia against Piracy and Armed Robbery involving Oil Cargo Theft in November 2015 which clearly exhibited ReCAAP ISC’s commitment to serve its stakeholders.
In the area of capacity building, the Council welcomed the successful conduct of various ReCAAP ISC capacity building activities including the ReCAAP ISC Capacity Building Workshop on 4-6 August 2015 in Singapore, and the ReCAAP Focal Point Senior Officers’ Meeting on 6-8 October 2015 in Sydney, Australia, with the support of Australia’s Maritime Border Command.
The Council noted that ReCAAP ISC had stepped up its outreach efforts and its reports are now frequently cited in media and industry publications. In addition, the ReCAAP ISC participated in several international conferences and fora on combating piracy and armed robbery against ships to raise greater awareness.
The Council was pleased to note the ReCAAP ISC’s initiative in engaging the members of the shipping community by, among others, conducting the ReCAAP ISC Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2015 and the Nautical Forum in 2016.
The Council welcomed the voluntary contributions pledged/paid by the ReCAAP Contracting Parties towards the work of the ReCAAP ISC for FY 20163 as follows:
Kingdom of the Netherlands EUR 30,000
Kingdom of the Thailand SGD 50,000
Republic of India USD 50,000
United States of America USD 50,000
Australia AUD 100,000
People’s Republic of China USD 80,000
Kingdom of Norway USD 100,000
Republic of Korea KRW 150 million
Japan JPY 48.314 million (tbc)
Republic of Singapore SGD 1.6 million
This assistance is in addition to the secondment of staff from China, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.
The Council actively discussed the agenda items relating to the 10th Anniversary Event scheduled for 18 March 2016. The Event will be attended by the High Level Representatives from ReCAAP’s 20 Contracting Parties, more than half of them at Ministerial level. To this end, the Council has adopted the Joint Statement which will be introduced at the 10th Anniversary Event.
The Council also appointed Mr Masafumi KUROKI as the next Executive Director for the period of three years from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019, and extended its appreciations to the current Executive Director, Mr Yoshihisa ENDO, for his exemplary leadership in raising the ReCAAP ISC to new heights during his six-year service.
The Council reiterated the importance of the ReCAAP ISC being a channel between the law enforcement agencies and the shipping industry, calling for greater cooperation among the like-minded agencies in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships. The Council also commended the ReCAAP ISC in striving to become a Centre of Excellence in information sharing by 2020.
The 11th Governing Council Meeting of the ReCAAP ISC is scheduled to be held in the week 14-17 March 2017 in Singapore.