IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu welcomes the signature by 22 States of the Code of Conduct concerning the prevention of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa.
The Code was adopted formally by the Heads of State meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on Tuesday (25 June, 2013), attended by 13 Heads of State from west and central African countries.
The document was signed in Yaoundé by Ministers of Foreign Affairs or other delegates, bringing it into effect for the 22 signatory States: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sao Tome and Principe and Togo.
“I am fully committed to assisting western and central African countries to establishing a workable, regional mechanism of co-operation for enhanced maritime security. Maritime development is an essential component of African development and maritime zone security is fundamentally important,” Mr Sekimizu said.
Signatories to the Code intend to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships, transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illegal activities at sea with a view towards:
(a) sharing and reporting relevant information;
(b) interdicting ships and/or aircraft suspected of engaging in such illegal activities at sea;
(c) ensuring that persons committing or attempting to commit illegal activities at sea are apprehended and prosecuted; and
(d) facilitating proper care, treatment, and repatriation for seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to illegal activities at sea, particularly those who have been subjected to violence.