June 28, 2004
Coastguards adopt Amarsective 2004
IN A move that is seen as a further crack down on maritime
security threats in the region, Asian coastguard agencies have
unanimously adopted the Asia Maritime Security Initiative 2004
The stand was taken during the Heads of Asian Coast Guard
Agencies meeting in Tokyo on June 18, and is expected to set in
motion a list of measures that have been drawn-up to address
maritime security concerns, including terrorism.
Among other things, the Amarsective 2004 sets out the commitments
and responsibilities of coastguard agencies, and areas of regional
and technical assistance and information sharing.
It is aimed at tackling the problems of piracy, terrorism and
unlawful acts at sea with the intention of enhancing maritime
security and ensuring the uninterrupted flow of sea borne
The meeting's chairman, Japanese Coast Guard commandant Kenichi
Fukaya welcomed the move and said it demonstrated Asian's coastguard
agencies' determination to commit and co-ordinate in the problems of
piracy and armed robberies.
The gathering was attended by participants from 17 countries and
12 observers including the US Coastguard Far East Activities,
International Maritime Organisation and ICC-International Maritime
During the meeting, a proposal was also put forward on the need
to put up a new mechanism for information exchange regarding ship
movements in Asia.
It was hoped that such a method would provide seamless data
sharing and thus contribute towards successfully deterring and
preventing unlawful acts at sea. With regards to maritime terrorism,
the Japanese Coast Guard recommended the formation of a list of
contact points to share information on such threats.
It further suggested the conducting of joint exercises and plans
to provide technical assistance in law enforcement. The problem of
maritime terrorism has become an area of concern as worldwide piracy
attacks continue to grow.
Fears have been triggered that if left unchecked the piracy
problem could worsen into more sinister acts of terrorism and become
a breeding ground for terrorist activities.
This issue will also be touched upon at the 5th tri-annual IMB
meeting on piracy and maritime security to be held in Kuala Lumpur
tomorrow and on Wednesday.
Terrorism and security expert Brian Jenkins will lead a
discussion on the real threat of maritime terrorism and what the
actual situation warrants.
International experts and law enforcement agencies from around
the world will gather to discuss the piracy and security threat
faced by the maritime community.
The group will also examine new developments, initiatives and
talk about the way forward in solving the problem, which has been
raised as a concern by governments and the shipping industry.
Speakers from the IMB, the United Kingdom Metropolitan Police and
the legal field will consider piracy statistics, major hotspots,
changes taking place, safety and environmental aspects and how to
handle kidnap and ransom cases.
They will also look at new legal developments, future challenges
and how to cope with the incidents.
Another session will examine maritime security and address issues
such as international co-operation, the soon-to-be implemented
International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the human
element in maritime security and initiatives.
The Limburg case will also be analysed. A boat packed with
explosives rammed into the oil tanker, off Yemen, in October
A third session will focus on the response by law enforcement
agencies and governments in combating crime at sea.
Delegates from TRANSEC UK, the Nippon Foundation, Zurich
Financial Services, Petroships and the Royal Malaysian Marine Police
will discuss government initiatives, resources in the fight against
piracy and technological measures available.
Other areas include ways to overcome jurisdictional issues,
protecting the Straits of Malacca and the insurance industry’s
perspective on the matter.
The two-day programme will also include an anti-piracy measure
demonstration by Malaysia’s maritime agencies namely the Marine
Police, Navy, Marine Department and the Customs and Fisheries