Mauritius will host the 2nd Edition of the Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security and the 22nd Plenary session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) from 18 to 20 June 2019 with aim to follow-up and discuss the progress and implementation of the Roadmap on Maritime Security in the South-Western part of the Indian Ocean so as to ensure a long-lasting Maritime Security. These events are being organised by the Indian Ocean Commission, in collaboration with the European Union (EU) through its funded Maritime Security Programme to contribute to the maritime domain awareness in the region.
The Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence and Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, announced the upcoming meetings on Maritime Security yesterday at the Treasury Building during a presentation in presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Nandcoomar Bodha, Members of the Diplomatic Corps and other stakeholders.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth expressed gratitude to the EU for supporting Mauritius and the Indian Ocean region in ensuring maritime security. Ocean economy, he said, is one of the main focuses of the country’s national strategy to boost economic and social growth adding that ensuring maritime security is, of no doubt, a prerequisite for Mauritius to reach a new level of development. Government is determined to fully exploit the potentials of its maritime areas in the field of fisheries, tourism, technological innovation, and exploration and exploitation of seabed, he added.
He also evoked the major challenges that the States of the Eastern Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean have to face towards building efficient and sustainable maritime security architecture in the Western Indian Ocean. Speaking about the States of the Eastern Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean which have a coastline of 14 000 kilometres and exclusive economic zones of 10 million km2, and generate some $176 billion of income annually, Sir Anerood Jugnauth affirmed that maritime security is thus a crucial domain for the region since it is directly linked to economic growth, jobs, social and political stability.
Minister Bodha, for his part, recalled that the first Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security held in April 2018, contributed to the enhancement of maritime security architecture through the adoption of the “Mauritius Declaration and a Roadmap on Maritime Security”. The 2nd Edition of the Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security, he said, aims at taking stock of the different actions undertaken since April 2018, evaluate the efficiency of actions and identify responses to ensure a long-lasting maritime security.
As for the 22nd Plenary session of the CGPCS, he indicated that it will facilitate the discussion and coordination of actions among States and organisations to suppress Somali piracy. The plenary session, he added, will be an opportunity to evaluate the level of threats of piracy in the region, to draw up the work plan for the current year as well as to reflect on the future of the Contact Group.
Some 15 countries and 29 regional and international organisations have confirmed their participation for the three-day event. They are, namely: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Portugal, Russian Federation, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, United Nations, International Maritime Organisation, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Food and Agriculture Organisation, Somalian Organisation, Pakistan Navy, Danish Shipping and Panama Maritime Authority amongst others.
On a separate note, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, briefed the press in view of the Political Dialogue between Mauritius and the European which is taking place on Thursday 13 June 2019. The Political Dialogue will look at a range of issues that affect the current and future relations between Mauritius and the EU and will discuss new perspectives of cooperation in a post-Cotonou (the current cooperation framework agreement between the EU and the ACP countries) era.