IMO Secretary-General welcomes adoption of new west and central Africa piracy and maritime law enforcement code by Heads of State

 IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has welcomed the signature by 22 States of the Code of Conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa. 

The Code was adopted formally by the Heads of State meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on Tuesday (25 June), attended by 13 Heads of State from west and central African countries.

The Code was signed in Yaoundé by Ministers of Foreign Affairs or other delegates, bringing it into effect for the 22 signatory States: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe and Togo.

“I am fully committed to assisting western and central African countries to establishing a workable, regional mechanism of co-operation for enhanced maritime security.  Maritime development is an essential component of African development and maritime zone security is fundamentally important,” Mr Sekimizu said, noting that the Code incorporates many elements of the successful Djibouti Code of Conduct, which has been signed by 20 States in the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden area, and the existing Memorandum of Understanding on the integrated coastguard function network in west and central Africa, which was developed in 2008 by IMO and the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA).

Mr. Sekimizu also called on countries to provide contributions for a new trust fund to be established by IMO for the implementation of IMO Projects for maritime security for western and central Africa.  The new multi-donor trust fund will support an expanded program of capacity-building activities in west and central Africa, to better enable the Organization to work with Member States, United Nations agencies and other international and regional development partners for the benefit of safe, secure and sustainable development of the African maritime sector.

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