The Government of Greece has announced its decision to donate $1m to support projects aimed at enhancing further the safety, security and environmental protection of the vital shipping route through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in south-east Asia.
The sum will be deposited with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and will be used to support the ongoing efforts of the Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to implement a range of projects developed and agreed during three meetings convened by IMO in co-operation with the three littoral States and held in Jakarta (2005), Kuala Lumpur (2006) and Singapore (2007).
The Singapore meeting also endorsed a new framework, formally dubbed the "Co-operative Mechanism", in which the littoral States can work together with the international maritime community to enhance navigational safety, security and environmental protection in the Straits, which handle some 30 per cent of all sea transport globally. The establishment of the Co-operative Mechanism constitutes the first time ever that a scheme has been put in place for the management of straits used for international navigation, as envisaged in Article 43 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Greek Minister of Mercantile Marine, Georges Voulgarakis, announced his country's donation during the 25th Assembly of IMO, the 167-member United Nations agency in London.