The meeting aims to unite efforts of the 17 Signatory States to enhance regional maritime security and protect international trade routes
Dubai, UAE: In line with its commitment to support the security and safety of the maritime industry, the UAE hosted the 2022 high-level workshop of the amended Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden area.
The workshop was held between 28 to 30 June 2022, at the Intercontinental Festival City hotel in Dubai. With the presence of H.E. Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. The workshop witnessed the presence of around 80 officials, including ministers, representing 17 countries. There were also representatives from ‘Friends of DCoC’ which includes international agencies and countries including France and the USA were present.
The latest amendment of the Djibouti Code of Conduct was adopted at the 2017 Jeddah meeting by countries in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden area.
This Code of Conduct is a major agreement in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships sailing in the region’s waters.
The Jeddah Amendment, which was developed from the initial version of the DCoC, covers measures to tackle a range of illicit activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, trafficking in narcotics, illegal trade in wildlife, illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft, human trafficking, human smuggling, and illegal dumping of toxic waste in regional and international waters in the region.
Strategy to Support Maritime Security
Commenting on this significant meeting, H.E. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al-Mansouri, Undersecretary for Infrastructure and Transport Affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “The UAE is a leading global maritime hub with the maritime economy exceeding AED 90 billion annually. Over 25,000 commercial ships call the UAE ports every year, making it a gate to the entire region. Maritime security is a key factor to sustain economic growth. Without it, the region’s countries will face major challenges. The UAE abides by all international initiatives that aim to enhance our maritime security and suppress all forms of illegal activities. We dedicate our maritime capabilities, resources and expertise to ensure that the region is free from criminal acts and abuses against humans, the environment and the wildlife.”
Al-Mansouri added: “Just as all oceans and seas around the world are connected as one large body of water, the security and the safety of ships and maritime routes are also connected, especially within the Arabian Gulf and the Western Indian Ocean region. This area has the largest energy reserves in the world as well as the most important straits and international trade routes. Affecting the maritime security of the region will have negative impacts on the global economy as a whole. That’s why, this meeting of the signatory states on the DCoC, which is hosted by us in the UAE, is significant for enhancing maritime safety worldwide.”
The Jeddah Amendment was signed by 17 countries. These are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, Jordan, Yemen, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania.
Overarching regional framework
H.E. Sheikh Nasser Al Qasimi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Regulation at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in the UAE, said: “Over the years, the emended DCoC has evolved from a piracy-centric cooperation framework into a comprehensive forum that addresses maritime security from a comprehensive perspective. Last year, the signatory states made great efforts to implement the planned Information Sharing Network and regionally prioritised Capacity Building Matrix to address the changing maritime security conditions in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The DCoC was further supported by the International Partners through the Friends of the Djibouti Code of Conduct to be able to collaborate in providing assistance based on the needs of the Signatory States. Today, we consolidate this cooperation, building on the previous efforts, in order to achieve the highest levels of maritime safety and security in this vital region of the world.”
The high level meeting of the amended DCoC approved four main Resolutions. These include: the roadmap to activate the Information Sharing Network for maritime security among the signatory states and the partners; adopting the Capacity Building Matrix to build regional capacity and meet the needs of the member states, as well as identify the role of potential donors; arranging the Trust Fund to build regional capacity; and discussing ways to enhance regional support by partners to raise the level of security of maritime routes in the region.
Members have also elected the new steering committee to follow up on implementing the resolutions and initiatives of the DCoC.