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Minister Morgan leads Seychelles delegation to Dubai to attend anti piracy conference. Meets with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud of Somalia and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan Minister of Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates

17.09.2013

Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport

PRESS RELEASE

Minister Joël Morgan, minister responsible for Home Affairs and Transport, who is as well the Chair of the High Level Committee for Piracy and the RAPPICC Steering Group, has recently returned from Dubai following a successful conference hosted by the United Arab Emirates, which focused on anti piracy off the coast of Somalia and the region.

The United Arab Emirates, in a partnership between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, global marine terminal operator DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company, convened a third high-level, public-private counter piracy conference, in Dubai, which was recently held on 11-12 September 2013, and followed highly successful conferences held in 2011 and 2012.

This 3rd conference, by invitation only, was a platform for the international and regional community to come together with the aim of:

  • Continuing to build awareness about the humanitarian and economic cost of piracy, including extending support to seafarers who are suffering from maritime piracy on the frontline
  • Injecting a new momentum in the common search for an effective and enduring solution to piracy through collaboration across political, military, financial and legal arenas
  • Encouraging a comprehensive, inclusive approach that can deliver a long term, sustainable solution to counter piracy, including land-based solutions
  • Highlighting the significance of enhancing industry-government cooperation in addressing the issue through joint strategies emphasizing sustainable long term solutions

Opening the conference H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan Minister of Foreign Affairs, United Arab Emirates said in part, “While the international community has made great strides in fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia, the UAE believes that maritime piracy, notably in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, remains of serious global concern. We are convinced that successfully countering piracy can only be achieved if the international community enhances its efforts to build capacity in the region. With that in mind, we have chosen “Countering Maritime Piracy: Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building” as the theme for this year’s conference.”

The Key Note Address was delivered by His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
President, Government of Somalia.  Minister Morgan seized the opportunity to meet with the Somali President to follow up on the discussions held on the sideline of the conference in London, where Somalia was in focus, and as well to touch on key proposals being made by the Seychelles as concerns Somalia and its fisheries, which was of high interest to the Somali delegation.

For his part Minister Morgan when addressing the assembled delegates said, “our presence here today bears witness to our resilience and determination to play our proper role in the defeat of this scourge of piracy in the region.”   Minister Morgan in his opening remarks made the point that the Seychelles, as a small island developing state, had been affected on many economic fronts, making it clear that not only had its tourism industry been impacted significantly but its fisheries sector as well,  as pirate action groups attacked vessels within Seychelles territorial waters as well as  its extreme edges.

“We, in Seychelles have responded cohesively and with determination to Somali piracy, embracing collaboration with the broader international community and with our partners in the region.  We have introduced strong legislation to counter piracy and criminal money flows, participated actively in the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), signed several Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs), as well as Transfer of Prisoner Agreements and acted as a hub for counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean.”

The Minister added, “it is appropriate that we recognise today, as the immediacy of the piracy threat appears to abate, the generosity of international donors and partners in building additional capacity within our maritime and criminal justice system and the efforts of international organisations such as UNODC, INTERPOL and the Indian Ocean Commission on our behalf.”

Minister Morgan laid out the vision of the Seychelles and the evolution of RAPPICC even as other members were using the centre as a best in practice approach in need of emulation.  It was understood that, “Seychelles is establishing a national Transnational Crime and Maritime Security Centre in Victoria. The regional impact of this will be to create a multi-disciplinary, multinational centre in the region for supporting a recognised maritime picture of the Western Indian Ocean, for transnational law enforcement cooperation and for integrating more closely the activities of a number of regionally-based initiatives aimed at regional capacity building.   Seychelles is transitioning itself from being the Indian Ocean hub for counter-piracy operations and prosecutions to becoming a hub for maritime security and transnational crime fighting coordination in the region.”

The final communiqué from the conference in Dubai recognised in part both the efforts of Seychelles with the function of RAPPICC and the need to step up efforts in combating transnational crime.

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