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The Republic of Mauritius is hosting the second Ministerial Conference on Maritime Security in the Western Indian Ocean and the 22nd Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. The Indian Ocean Commission is organising the events with EU funding in the framework of the Maritime Security (MASE) Programme.
There can be no sustainable development without peace and security. And in this region, countries highly depend on safety and security of the oceans. For several years, the EU has been implementing strategic initiatives to enhance maritime security in the region. The EU launched its first ever Naval Force, Operation ATALANTA off the coast of Somalia in December 2008. For over ten years, this operation has successfully been fighting piracy, and has greatly contributed to maritime security in this part of the world. Today, EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta continues to work closely with national maritime agencies to promote maritime security.
The MASE Programme is a regional programme funded by the European Union. The programme, which is implemented by four Regional Organisations, namely IGAD, EAC, COMESA and IOC, supports the implementation of the Regional Strategy and Action Plan to fight piracy and promote maritime security in the Eastern and Southern Africa – Indian Ocean. The programme is also implemented in partnership with the FAO, INTERPOL and UNODC.
Through the MASE, the EU supports the Regional Centre for Operations Coordination (RCOC) in Seychelles and the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar with equipment and training. The two regional centres are pivotal for a more effective and coordinated fight against piracy in the region. The EU also contributes to joint missions undertaken under the aegis of the RCOC.