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IMO : Supporting maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea

IMO has taken part in the annual meeting of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++ Fogg) which focuses on dealing with illegal activities at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.
The online event (23 – 25 June) included discussions on how the Yaoundé Code of Conduct will function going forward. The Code’s primary objective is to manage and considerably reduce the adverse impacts of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and other illicit maritime activities. It was developed with technical support from IMO and adopted in 2013.
The role of civil society organizations and their role in addressing the causes of piracy was highlighted, providing valuable insight into some of the social, cultural, and economic challenges facing the region.
In his opening remarks, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the urgency of the security situation, stating “now is the time to make real progress. I call upon all stakeholders to display genuine commitment to confront these issues head-on”. He also reiterated that IMO would continue to support training and other capacity-building activities for individual Gulf of Guinea states as well as cooperative regional efforts.
Speaking at the event, IMO’s Gisela Vieira emphasized that IMO is continuing to work with the Member States via virtual platforms, despite much of the in-the-field work being on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. IMO is fully engaged in facilitating and supporting virtual meetings with the Inter-regional coordination center (ICC) to progress the implementation and to assess the requirement for revision of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct framework.
The Fogg was hosted under the Co-Chair of the United Kingdom and Senegal, with participants from G7++ Fogg countries including those in West and Central Africa, international organizations, and industry.

Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea affects a number of countries in West Africa as well as the wider international community. By 2011, it had become an issue of global concern Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are often part of heavily armed criminal enterprises, who employ violent methods to steal oil cargo.[3] In 2012, the International Maritime Bureau, Oceans Beyond Piracy, and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Program reported that the number of vessels attacks by West African pirates had reached a world high, with 966 seafarers attacked during the year.
According to the Control Risks Group, pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea had by mid-November 2013 maintained a steady level of around 100 attempted hijackings in the year, a close second behind Southeast Asia. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a concern to the shipping industry, which is affected significantly At the same time, governments in the region generally highlight that the fight against piracy requires a broad understanding of maritime security throughout the Gulf of Guinea.

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