The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is to organize a high-level, sub-regional seminar in Aden, Yemen, on maritime security and prevention of piracy and armed robbery against ships.
Aimed at senior officials in the maritime and port authorities of selected countries in the region, the seminar, to be convened in April 2005, will provide an opportunity for participants to gain a deeper insight into measures to prevent and eradicate acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and of the provisions to strengthen ship and port security, in particular those contained in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention chapter XI/2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security
The five-day event will be split into three subject-specific sections. One will deal with piracy and armed robbery, another with maritime security and a third with related legal matters. As well as lecturers from the IMO secretariat, specialist external consultant speakers and a representative from the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime will offer participants the benefit of their knowledge and experience.
In addition to the host country Yemen, other countries invited to participate will be Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Sudan. The event will be organized under the auspices of IMO's Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme.
The countries of the sub-region border the key shipping route through the Suez Canal, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and any serious disruption to the flow of maritime traffic therein could have a widespread and far-reaching detrimental effect. The seminar can thus be seen in the wider context of IMO's initiatives on maritime security including its special efforts to keep shipping lanes of vital importance and significance open to international navigation.