IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has highlighted the urgency of the security situation in the Gulf of Guinea, stating “now is the time to make real progress. I call upon all stakeholders to display genuine commitment to confront these issues head-on.”
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim IMO stated this in the annual meeting of the G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++ FoGG) which focuses on dealing with illegal activities at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.
He reiterated that IMO would continue to support training and other capacity-building activities for individual Gulf of Guinea states as well as cooperative regional efforts.
The online event which took place last week included discussions on how the Yaoundé Code of Conduct will function going forward. The Code’s primary objective is to manage and considerably reduce the adverse impacts from piracy, armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activities. It was developed with technical support from IMO and adopted in 2013.
The role of civil society organisations and their role in addressing the causes of piracy was highlighted, providing a valuable insight into some of the social, cultural and economic challenges facing the region.
Speaking at the event, IMO’s Gisela Vieira emphasised that IMO is continuing to work with the Member States via virtual platforms, despite much of the in-the-field work being on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. IMO is fully engaged in facilitating and supporting virtual meetings with the Inter-regional coordination center (ICC) to progress the implementation and to assess the requirement for revision of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct framework.
The FoGG was hosted under the Co-Chair of the United Kingdom and Senegal, with participants from G7++ FoGG countries including those in West and Central Africa, international organizations and industry.