The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA Japan) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), in cooperation with the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC), jointly launched the inaugural Capacity Building Executive Programme on combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia in Singapore.
The Capacity Building Executive Programme—targeted at senior-level personnel with 10 to 15 years of experience and above in maritime enforcement—will see ReCAAP Contracting Parties from ASEAN (Cambodia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), together with representatives from Indonesia and Malaysia as dialogue partners, participate in a 10-day training held both in Singapore and Japan from September 27 to October 6, 2017.
Designed to build capacity, enhance information sharing and strengthen cooperation among the ASEAN enforcement authorities, the Capacity Building Executive Programme will cover key topics such as: Trends and Developments in Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, Best Practices of Information Sharing, Best Practices in the Law Enforcement and Prosecution against Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships, International Laws and Regulations related to Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships and Emerging Maritime Threats such as Cybersecurity, Maritime Terrorism, etc.
Sharing their knowledge and expertise with the participants are subject matter experts from MPA Singapore, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, Singapore Shipping Association, Philippines Coast Guard, Philippines Navy, Gadjah Mada University of Indonesia, MOFA Japan, Ministry of Defense Japan, Japan Coast Guard, Australian Maritime Border Command, United States Coast Guard, ReCAAP ISC, and more.
To enrich learning, field visits to key maritime facilities such as MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre, Singapore Police Coast Guard’s Brani Base, Japan Coast Guard facilities and Japan Coast Guard Academy will be organised.
“Japan, as a maritime nation, is pleased to co-host the Capacity Building Executive Programme, together with Singapore, with the cooperation of ReCAAP ISC. The Programme aims for enhancing maritime law enforcement capabilities of ASEAN countries in the area of counter-piracy efforts and we believe it is a very timely initiative considering the fact that increasing transnational criminal activities including abduction in the Sulu-Celebes Sea pose a threat to the ASEAN, which was founded 50 years ago. Japan will continue to work hard to enhance regional cooperation in this area,” said Ambassador Toshiro Iijima, Deputy Assistant Minister, Foreign Policy Bureau, MOFA Japan and Japanese Governor to the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council.
“As a global hub port and a major flag state, Singapore is committed to working together with ReCAAP and regional partners to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. This programme will no doubt open up opportunities to exchange best practices to strengthen timely and accurate information sharing, and foster closer ties amongst various regional Focal Points and ReCAAP ISC. Together, we will work to keep our waters free from the threat of piracy and armed robbery against ships,” said Andrew Tan, MPA's Chief Executive and Singapore Governor to the ReCAAP ISC Governing Council.
“Incidences of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia have been on the decline in recent years. Much of this is the result of enhanced information sharing and more effective enforcement by the coastal states. Through the Capacity Building Executive Programme, we want to build on this momentum to enhance capability, augment information sharing and strengthen regional cooperation as we collectively work towards making seas in Asia safer and more secure for all,” said Masafumi Kuroki, Executive Director of ReCAAP ISC.