Asian Agreement Thwarting Piracy to Take Effect

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
A landmark regional cooperation pact against marine piracy in Asia is set to take effect in early September. Singapore's foreign affairs ministry says 11 countries have now ratified the regional pact on combating piracy and armed robbery of ships in Asia. Singapore serves as the depository of the agreement and will host the group's information sharing centre which is a permanent body with full-time staff. Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Burma, South Korea, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka have all ratified the agreement. Brunei is also in the process of ratifying the pact. Officials say vessels plying the Malacca Strait are vulnerable to pirates and seaborne "terrorism". An international maritime authority last week urged leading insurer Lloyd's to remove the Strait from a list of dangerous waterways, saying pirate attacks there had sharply declined. Source: ABC Asia Pacific TV / Radio Australia
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