Asian Nations Address Maritime Security
Monday, September 08, 2003
Realizing that their countries’ economic health and well being depend largely on their ability to provide safe and secure shipping operations – defending against everything from terrorism to pirates to smugglers – twenty-one nations with Pacific Ocean ports recently met to discuss the current status and future prospects of maritime security. The meeting was held for two days in Manila, Reuters reported, for members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. While leaders within the organization grapple with the increasing cost and potential slowdown of shipping services to accommodate new levels of security, they concluded that the price of not ensuring safe shipments was much higher.
"Failure to act on this will put APEC economies at great risk," one official reportedly said.
While there is an eye for higher security in the region, maritime security in this part of the world is particularly daunting for nations such as Indonesia, with a high level of maritime traffic and thousands of miles of coastlines dispersed among hundreds of islands.