IMO West African seminar accents maritime security, law enforcement
A SEMINAR organised by the UN's International Maritime Organisation in Cotonou, Benin, focused on security measures in West African ports, the facilitation of maritime traffic, the suppression of piracy and smuggling.
More than 60 participants from the 20 coastal member states of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) joined international experts for the seminar.
Experts from France, the US Coast Guard, the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Interpol were present.
IMO said that it welcomed the opportunity to collaborate closely with Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) as part of IMO's continuing technical co-operation programme in the region.
"Going forward, PMAWCA will build on the issues raised in this seminar to create a network for sharing port and maritime security information, intelligence gathering and information sharing as the Association seeks to contribute to wider efforts to strengthen maritime security," said PMAWCA secretary general Michael Luguje.
This seminar complements the maritime security assistance programme conducted by the IMO in the region, including the integrated coast guard function network project and the recent series of national table top exercises, reported London's Tanker Operator.
IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu also announced the creation of a multi-donor trust fund for west and central Africa to support maritime security capacity-building activities in the region.