An international agreement on repressing piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden has been broadened to cover other illicit maritime activities, including human trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
A high-level meeting of signatories to the Djibouti Code of Conduct, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia earlier in January, adopted a revised code of conduct, which will be known as the “Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct 2017”, according to International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The participatory states agreed to work together, with support from IMO and other stakeholders, to build national and regional capacity to address wider maritime security issues, as a basis for sustainable development of the maritime sector.
The revised code of conduct builds on the earlier code, which was adopted under the auspices of IMO in 2009.
IMo said that the Jeddah Amendment will include information sharing, interdicting ships and/or aircraft suspected of engaging in such crimes, ensuring that any persons committing or intending to commit such illicit activity are apprehended and prosecuted, and facilitating proper care, treatment, and repatriation for seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers involved as victims.
The revised code of conduct was adopted by all 18 states, who also adopted resolutions covering technical co-operation and assistance, enhancing training in the region, and expressions of appreciation to the host country, Saudi Arabia.