CGPCS Meeting, day 3: Working group sessions continue

On the third day of the 2016 CGPCS counter-piracy week the focus was on working groups and sub groups. In the morning one working group, the Trust Fund board and the Somali Maritime Security Coordination Committee (MSSC) met in parallel sessions. The discussions in the working group Maritime Counter Piracy and Mitigation Operations led by Seychelles, UAE, and Japan concentrated on the Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) architecture in the Western Indian Ocean region. The American NGO Oceans Beyond Piracy presented the study on regional MSA concluded last year and pointed to the importance of avoiding duplication. The EU’s Crimario project, IOC, UNODC, MSCHoA and the IOC Anti piracy Unit provided updates on ongoing capacity building projects with and MSA focus. The shipping industry made a strong case for the importance of MSA in the long term, emphasizing that UKMTO has to remain active for the foreseeable future. The second part of the discussion concerned the future of the working group. It was agreed to transfer the discussion on MSA to the newly established regional capacity building coordination group. Participants disagreed over whether a working group focusing on operations at sea would still be required. A range of countries suggested to keep the format alive, not the least to give legitimacy to SHADE, or to be able to address any arising matters. Others pointed out that there are no substantial issues or objectives on the agenda which would justify keeping the group active. Both Japan and Seychelles announced that they will step down as co-chairs of the group.
In the morning session also the MSSC met for the first time as part of a CGPCS meeting. As agreed in yesterdays, Capacity Building working group meeting, the MSSC is expected to take over the coordination of capacity building within Somalia. In the Trust Fund Board meeting new board members were elected and decisions on a range of funding applications for counter-piracy project were made. In the afternoon a site visit to the Reflecs3 Building was organized with presentations given by the Regional Fisheries Crime Investigation Cell, and a demonstration of the Seychelles Marine Police Unit. In parallel a meeting on the first draft of the communique was held.

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