The 28th and 29th of April represented a historical moment for the Indian Ocean countries: indeed, 5 of them (Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar and Djibouti) signed two intergovernmental agreements, one on maritime information sharing, the latter on coordination of operations at sea.
More than 150 delegates representing 25 States and 16 regional or international organizations worked on 26 and 27 April to draft a ministerial declaration and finalize the conclusions of the working groups:
– regional maritime security mechanisms;
– fight against terrorism ;
– fight against transnational trafficking;
– risks of disasters at sea.
These agreements lay the foundation for enhanced cooperation between the coastal countries of the Indian Ocean, hoping that others will join them, as France has announced its signature in the coming months.
This success is to the credit of the Mauritian Presidency of the IOC and its strong arm, the MASE program that has been working for years to prepare these texts. He has also drafted the terms of reference of the forthcoming International Liaison Officers (ILO) who will soon join the RMIFC (based in Antanarivo) and the RCOC (based in Mahe) and the governance text of these two centres.
This agreement on the maritime information exchange comes at the right time for the IORIS information sharing platform proposed by the CRIMARIO project whose first release was delivered and fine-tuned by the team on April 12 and 13 in Mahe, just before the first training given by Polymorph to the representatives sent by our partners. It will be the tool that will make it possible to disseminate maritime information in all the countries of the region and, when necessary, to cooperate for fighting against the threats posed by trafficking of all kinds (drugs, weapons, …), illegal fishing, piracy, but also to preserve this beautiful environment that is the Indian Ocean.
This set of meetings ended on April 30th with a meeting to prepare the agenda for the CGPCS plenary session, which will be held in Nairobi in early July.
EU CRIMARIO project was represented by Adm. Cloup-Mandavialle, project coordinator.