Australian Maritime Security Deal Signed
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Reports indicate that Australian Attorney General, Philip Ruddock, today signed agreements to enhance maritime security and counter-terrorism.
Ruddock, in London as part of a week-long visit to Europe to discuss security issues, signed the security protocols at a meeting with the secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Efthimios Mitropoulos.
He said they would significantly strengthen international efforts to counter terrorist threats to maritime security and offshore oil and gas facilities.
The protocols were adopted at a Diplomatic Conference of the IMO in in October 2005 after three years of intensive negotiations. They will amend the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation.
Ruddock said once in force, the protocols would create new offences on use of vessels for terrorist purposes and a new regime for boarding vessels suspected of committing an offence under the amended convention.