The Arab States & Mediterranean region is characterized by its dependence on the maritime sector. It has a coastline of approximately 24,300 km facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Arabian, Mediterranean and Red Seas and the Gulfs of Aden and Oman. Most of these waters are used as international routes for oil and chemical tankers, which expose these countries to the risks of maritime navigation and marine pollution. Three waterways in the region have been designated as Special Areas under the provisions of MARPOL 73/78.
Twenty-two of the countries in the region are IMO Member States, three countries are Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and one is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS).