Senior officials, academics and practitioners from the Indian Ocean region and Southeast Asia gathered in Kenya’s coastal town of Mombasa on 17 December 2019, in order to discuss regional maritime co-operation and consider practical steps to improve security in the Western Indian Ocean. It was noted that a peaceful maritime space and secure and healthy seas are critical to ensuring safe navigation of commercial vessels in the Gulf of Aden and help foster the economy of island and coastal nations (‘Blue Economy’).
The meeting was officially opened by EU Ambassador Simon Mordue, who commended both Kenya and the other countries present for having put maritime security high on the political agenda. The Ambassador assured the countries of the EU’s continuing involvement to help build capacities to fight piracy and other forms of maritime crime, including illegal fishing, the illicit trade in weapons and drugs, the trafficking of human beings and environmental threats.
The countries which gathered in Mombasa are involved in the implementation of the EU CRIMARIO project and the expansion of the Indian Ocean Regional Information-Sharing (IORIS) platform across the wider Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. The objective of the CRIMARIO project is to help partner countries share information and exchange maritime data, in order to be able to better observe movements of ships in the region. Such maritime situational awareness is a critical step to help secure the shared maritime space in the Indian Ocean region and beyond. More information on the EU CRIMARIO project and the IORIS platform is available at: https://www.crimario.eu/en/