Joint Communique of the Ministerial Meeting on Piracy and Maritime Security in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Region

EU The ESA-IO Ministers and Representatives of the Republic of Comoros, the Republic of Djibouti, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of Seychelles, the Somali Republic, the Republic of South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the EU High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission Baroness Catherine Ashton meet at Grand Bay, Mauritius on the 7th October 2010. Republic of France/Réunion also attended the meeting as a member of IOC.

In attendance are: COMESA, EAC, IGAD, IOC and SADC. In addition to the Minister of the Republic of Maldives, representatives of the following countries and organisations were also present: People’s Republic of China, India, Pakistan, Russian Federation and the US, UN, AU, INTERPOL, IONS.

The Ministers:

1. express deep concern over the persistent scourge of piracy, particularly its impact on peace, security, stability and maritime security, its links to transnational organised crime, as well as its possible links to terrorist activities and the challenges it poses to private sector development, regional and international trade, economic integration and development.

2. note the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the Press Statement issued during the 242nd meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council, the African Maritime Transport Charter and Plan of Action, the AU Durban Resolution and Plan of Action on Maritime Transport, the Djibouti Code of Conduct, the International Maritime Organization’s resolution A.1002 (25), the UN Secretary-General’s report on Somalia with the 7 options mentioned in it, and the important work undertaken by the UN Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia.

3. also further note of the COMESA, EAC, IGAD and IOC policy organs’ decisions to counter piracy and for which they have undertaken to strengthen bilateral, regional and international cooperation for comprehensively combating piracy and promoting maritime security;

4. recalling the Joint Communiqué of the 1st Regional Ministerial Meeting and the European Union High Representative in Seychelles in May 2010 and its commitment to strengthening dialogue and cooperation to suppress maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean region, acknowledge that substantive work has been done since then, especially through the International Symposium and the Regional Workshop in Seychelles in July 2010 to enhance domestic action plans and to develop a comprehensive, coherent and sustainable Regional Strategy and a rolling Regional Plan of Action against piracy and for maritime security.

5. also acknowledge with appreciation the endorsement by the COMESA Summit of the Action Plan for the fight against Piracy and that IGAD is formulating a specific plan of Action for Inland Somalia.

6. recognise the crucial role of the European Union Atalanta Operation, States of the region, and other naval forces in combating piracy and particularly commended Kenya and Seychelles as prosecuting States, and encouraged others to engage.

7. consider and adopt a Regional Strategy (RS) which provides for a regional framework to prevent and combat piracy, and promote maritime security through a three-pillar approach:
i. Develop, agree and implement a Somalia Inland Action Plan to counter and prevent piracy;
ii. Encourage States of the region to undertake prosecution of pirates apprehended in the region with the financial and technical support of the international community;
iii. Strengthen capacities of States of the region to secure their maritime zones.

1. adopt a rolling Regional Plan of Action (RPA) underpinning the Regional Strategy which encompasses exchange of information, cooperation, joint action, and capacity-building as cross-cutting principles.

2. agree that the ESA-IO configuration, which includes Member States and RECS of the region, will be used as Regional Coordination Mechanism for the timely and effective implementation and follow-up of the Regional Strategy and Regional Plan of Action. The Inter-Regional Coordination Committee (IRCC) shall serve as the secretariat of this Regional Coordination platform. This may take the form of an annual ESA-IO Regional Ministerial Meeting against Piracy (ERMMP) and would also include participation from key stakeholders.

3. further agree that the Regional Strategy and its Regional Plan of Action, which are complementary to the AU African Maritime Transport Charter, provide additional basis for strengthening cooperation with the international partners such as the UN and EU, in political dialogue and collaboration in the fight against piracy and for maritime security.

4. request the international partners, especially the EU, to provide the necessary support and agreed that the Regional Organisations and Member States of the ESA-IO region follow-up on the Communiqué through the Network of Contact Points on Piracy.

5. decide to remain seized with the matter, called upon other partners to collaborate with the region to identify sustainable solutions on piracy and for maritime security.

The EU HR/VP Baroness Ashton welcomes the ESA-IO region’s determination to work together in a spirit of solidarity and burden sharing and reiterated the strong commitment of the EU to cooperate with the region in support of the ESA-IO Regional Strategy and Regional Plan of Action in collaboration with the other international partners.

Adopted on the 7th October 2010 at Grand Bay, Mauritius

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