States make progress in co-operation to enhance safety of navigation, security and environmental protection in Straits of Malacca and Singapore
The littoral States of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and user States have
agreed, at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, to support the proposed co-operative mechanism
on safety of navigation and environmental protection in the Straits, one of the
most important and busiest shipping routes in the world.
The joint efforts of the armed forces of the littoral States in contributing to
the security of the Straits, through the Malacca Straits Coordinated Patrols and
the "Eyes in the Sky" maritime patrols were highlighted as positive
steps towards enhancing maritime security in the Straits.
The Meeting on the Straits of Malacca and Singapore: Enhancing Safety, Security
and Environmental Protection, which took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from
18 to 20 September 2006, was convened by IMO and the Government of Malaysia and
organized in co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and
the Government of the Republic of Singapore.
Delegations from the three littoral States (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore)
and from 28 other States, as well as observers from the Association of South East
Asian Nations (ASEAN) and nine non-governmental organizations, attended the meeting
to discuss recent developments relating to safety, security and environmental
protection of the Straits, with the aim of developing mechanisms and programmes
to facilitate co-operation in keeping the Straits safe and open to international
shipping at all times. One-third of the world's trade and half of the world's
oil supply are carried through the Straits by some 60,000 vessels each year.
Kuala Lumpur Statement, in which it agreed to support the continuous efforts
of the littoral States and the proposed co-operative mechanism as presented by
the littoral States on safety of navigation and environmental protection, the
aim of which is to promote dialogue and facilitate close co-operation between
the littoral States, user States, shipping industry and other stakeholders.
supported the following projects presented by the three littoral States:
of wrecks in the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Straits of Malacca and
and capacity building on hazardous and noxious substance (HNS); preparedness
and response in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore;
project of class B automatic identification system (AIS) transponder on
up tide, current and wind measurement systems for the Straits of Malacca
and Singapore to enhance navigational safety and marine environment protection;
and maintenance of aids to navigation in the Malacca and Singapore Straits;
of aids to navigation damaged by the tsunami disaster of December 2004.
The meeting agreed
that the littoral States, user States, the shipping industry and other stakeholders
should co-operate towards the establishment of a mechanism for voluntary funding
for the above projects and the maintenance and renewal of aids to navigation
in the Straits.
The Kuala Lumpur Meeting was held a year after the first Meeting on the Straits
of Malacca and Singapore: Enhancing Safety, Security and Environmental Protection,
held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Kuala Lumpur Meeting agreed to support the continuous efforts of the littoral
States to promote dialogue and facilitate close co-operation between the littoral
States, user States, shipping industry and other stakeholders. It commended
and welcomed efforts made since the Jakarta meeting in enhancing safety of navigation,
environmental protection and security in the Straits, in particular in reducing
the number of shipping incidents, oil spill incidents from ships, and armed
robbery and other unlawful acts against ships to a very low level.
The meeting noted with appreciation the entry into force of the Regional Cooperation
Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia ("ReCAAP")
on 4 September 2006, which will lead to the launch of the ReCAAP Information
Sharing Centre in Singapore in November 2006.
The progress made
in relation to the implementation of the Marine Electronic Highway (MEH) Demonstration
Project for the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, developed by IMO in co-operation
with the littoral States and funded by the Global Environmental Facility of
the World Bank and with financial support from the Republic of Korea, was also
commended. The proposed projects discussed at the meeting could contribute to
the MEH project.
The meeting agreed that the work of the Tripartite Technical Experts Group on
Safety of Navigation (TTEG), in enhancing the safety of navigation and in protecting
the marine environment in the Straits, should continue to be supported and encouraged,
and the littoral States should continue their efforts towards enhancing maritime
security in the Straits.
IMO was invited to continue to co-operate with the littoral States and to provide
every assistance possible in attracting sponsors for the agreed projects and
contributors for the maintenance, repair and replacement of aids to navigation
in the Straits.
IMO was also invited to consider, in consultation with the littoral States,
convening further follow-on meetings for the littoral States to identify and
prioritize specific needs, and for user States to identify possible assistance
and to respond to those specific needs, which may include provision of resources,
capacity building, training and technical support, with a view to promote further
co-operative measures, including possible options for burden sharing.
The Straits of Malacca and Singapore has long served as a major artery of trade
between countries in the east and those in the west and is also an important
source of marine resources for the littoral States. A significant proportion
of the population of the littoral States lives within 50 km of the Straits and
many are directly dependent on it, making it essential that shipping passes
through the Straits safely to avoid any environmental damage.
32, 22 September 2006
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