The third G7 High Level Meeting on Maritime Security was held in Rome last month as a follow up to the G7 Ministers of Foreign Affairs Joint Communiqué signed at Lucca in Italy in April. The core aim of the meeting was to identify common challenges in the maritime domain and how to coordinate comprehensive responses to maritime insecurity at an international and regional level.
The meeting highlighted the importance of technology transfer and capacity building, particularly relating to Maritime Domain Awareness, for states “currently unable to effectively participate in the global endeavour to reinforce maritime security”. It also identified challenges, such as implementing regional coordination frameworks and translating maritime security strategies into concerted actions.
Four roundtables examined both traditional and newer threats to maritime security. These were (i) Countering illegal activities at sea, which highlighted the crucial importance of guaranteeing freedom of navigation, promoting connectivity among regions and cooperating on capacity building, (ii) Improving safety and security of maritime environment through research and development of best standard and practices, (iii) Enhancing Awareness in the Maritime Domain, and (iv) Safeguarding the marine environment as a prerequisite for maritime security.
SAFE SEAS forthcoming ‘Best Practice Report’ will contribute to these high level discussions on how maritime security can be better coordinated and planned by consolidating the experience in the western Indian Ocean region and using it to help organise maritime security more efficiently and devise ways by which it can be effectively supported.