Joint Press Release by The ReCAAP ISC, BIMCO, INTERTANKO, and RSIS
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
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)
Changing Trends of Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia
ReCAAP ISC Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2017
27 April 2017, Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
- The ReCAAP ISC, BIMCO, INTERTANKO and RSIS jointly organised the Piracy and Sea Robbery Conference 2017, on 27 April 2017 morning at Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore – the ninth event in the series, and was held in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week.
- The theme of this year’s conference was Changing Trends of Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery in Asia. The Conference addressed the changing trends of piracy and sea robbery in Asia for the past 10 years, and emerging and potential threats against ships such as the abduction of crew in the Sulu-Celebes Sea, and the nexus between cybercrime and piracy. The aim of the Conference was to raise the awareness on the past trend and emerging threats of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.
- Distinguished speakers representing IMO1, the Philippine Coast Guard, BIMCO, FASA2 on various topics relating to piracy and armed robbery, and cybersecurity and maritime piracy in Asia. The Conference provided an information sharing platform where perspective and views were exchanged among the speakers and the audience at the Panel Discussion moderated by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, the Executive Deputy Chairman of RSIS. Amb Ong commented on the session: “It is a useful discussion. Participants learned how they would approach the common challenges faced by them. This is important as we all have to work together in tackling the threat to good order and safety at sea.”
- At the Opening Remarks delivered by the Ambassador Dr Pornchai Danvivathana, Governor (Thailand), also the Chairperson of the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council, recounted how the facet of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia had evolved over the last decade, and the drastic decline in the number of incidents in the Singapore Strait – a tangible result of increase in surveillance by the littoral States and enhanced vigilance of the crew. He underlined the importance to keep abreast of the latest situation, make appropriate risk assessment, exercise enhanced vigilance and make timely reporting. He also shared that the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council had endorsed the roadmap with the goal for the ReCAAP ISC to become a Centre of Excellence for information sharing by 2020.
- The Keynote Address was delivered by Dr Phillip Belcher, Marine Director of INTERTANKO, in which he said that shipping as a service industry facilitates world trade, but there existed real risks to that trade through piracy and other security risks. At a time where piracy and armed robbery were once again resurging off Somalia and remained stubbornly embedded in West Africa, the Asian solution stood out as a model of how to get to grips with the problem. Through close cooperative network, real coordination between States and actions taken ashore, Asia demonstrated to the world how a problem with global reach could be resolved: by the region, in the region.
- The Conference’s deliverables included sharing of situation awareness, best practices and precautionary measures in accordance with the Regional Guide to Counter Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia, and emphasised the importance of timely reporting of incidents to the nearest coastal states in accordance with the IMO MSC.1/Circ.1333 and MSC.1/Circ.1334.
- In the closing, Mr Masafumi Kuroki, the Executive Director of the ReCAAP ISC thanked the speakers and participants for sharing their expertise, knowledge and concerns. He stressed the importance for all stakeholders to remain vigilant and to sustain the efforts to address piracy and sea robbery from a long term perspective since the trends are changing. He expressed the intention of the ReCAAP ISC to remain relevant for the maritime community by undertaking new activities and working collectively with the stakeholders.
- 180 participants attended the Conference. These included Ambassador and Head of Delegation of European Union, Embassy Representatives of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam; law enforcement agencies’ representative from INTERPOL, Indonesian Marine Police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Information Fusion Centre, shipping associations’ Secretary Generals and staff members, academic experts and like-minded individuals. This variety of participants from many fields and many regions proves the ReCAAP ISC to be a body of strong relevance not only for regional maritime community but also, International maritime community. It also demonstrates successful outcome of the ReCAAP ISC’s outreach efforts to strengthen its networking, fostering confidence and trust, and partnership with the relevant stakeholders.
ReCAAP ISC, BIMCO, INTERTANKO and RSIS
27 April 2017
Last updated on 07/05/2019