Djibouti Code of Conduct – High Level meeting - Dubai
Opening remarks by Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General
Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to start by thanking you for the kind invitation to speak and to the European Union and the Government of the United Arab Emirates for sponsoring this important high-level meeting.
Since the Djibouti Code of Conduct was adopted in 2009, signatory states across the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden have developed a culture of cooperation and mutual support, which has played an influential role in suppressing the threat of piracy and armed robbery across the region.
The adoption of the Jeddah Amendment in 2017 broadened the mandate to address maritime security, and the root causes, echoing the role of IMO in the safety and security of shipping.
I was delighted to recently welcome the Republic of South Africa as the 17th signatory state of the Jeddah Amendment.
Your accomplishments over the past 13 years are impressive and building important relationships through this forum remains critical to developing and implementing regional solutions. During this time, you have delivered training to over 1800 students from across the region and continue to innovate through your new governance framework.
Your current focus on coordinating capacity building and prioritizing the needs of signatory states is refreshing.
Your regional information sharing network initiative can act as a force multiplier and can aid a coordinated approach to countering maritime security issues.
To continue this good work requires funding, and I would like to thank all those donor states who have contributed to support the implementation of the DCoC and I call upon the Friends of the DCoC and signatory states to consider making regular financial contributions to ensure the sustainability of this forum, and the delivery of your new initiatives.
Across the region, it is pleasing to see the continued success of efforts to eradicate piracy and armed robbery. There have been no reported successful incidents of piracy and armed robbery for five years.
We have witnessed the end of the UN mandate calling for naval support off the coast of Somalia UNSCR 2608. I would like to thank the non-regional navies for their support over the past 15 years.
It is encouraging to see the continued development of regional maritime capabilities and IMO thanks the coastal states for their continued efforts.
The importance of a collective regional maritime security forum, led by the region and for the region, has rarely been more important than it is today. IMO remains committed to work with you.
As well as providing secretariat support to the DCoC, IMO is implementing two large EU funded projects, working alongside our partners at INTERPOL and UNODC and providing support to many of the DCoC member states, dovetailing those efforts to complement and support the priorities of the DCoC.
Much progress has been made, but there remains a lot of work ahead. We must maintain the current momentum in suppressing piracy and armed robbery, whilst continuing to focus on sustainable and enduring solutions to build capacity and address root causes.
I wish you every success in this important event.