The Djibouti Code of Conduct was today (18 April 2011) signed in Dubai by HE Dr. Saeed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister for International Organisations of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Foreign Affairs. UAE has become the 18th signatory to sign the Code of Conduct, set up by IMO to develop regional capacity to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Western Indian Ocean.
Signatories to the Code, which has been in effect since 29 January 2009, undertake to co-operate in a variety of activities, including:
- the investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons reasonably suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts;
- the interdiction and seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships;
- the rescue of ships, persons and property subject to piracy and armed robbery and the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to such acts, particularly those who have been subjected to violence; and
- the conduct of shared operations – both among signatory States and with navies from countries outside the region – such as nominating law enforcement or other authorized officials to embark on patrol ships or aircraft of another signatory.
In addition, the Code provides for the sharing of related information, through a number of centres and national focal points using existing communication infrastructure and arrangements such as the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mombasa, Kenya, the Rescue Coordination Sub-Centre in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania and the regional maritime information centre in Sana’a, Yemen.
Signatories to the Code also undertake to review their national legislation with a view to ensuring that there are laws in place to criminalize piracy and armed robbery against ships and to make adequate provision for the exercise of jurisdiction, conduct of investigations and prosecution of alleged offenders.
Speaking after the signing ceremony in Dubai, the head of IMO's Djibouti Code of Conduct project implementation unit, Philip Holihead said, "We are delighted that another significant presence in the region has signed up to the Code. Concerted action of the kind promoted by the Code can go a long way towards curbing the activities of pirates and the addition of UAE to the list of signatories will undoubtedly help us to achieve the Code's objectives."
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
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