East Asia Summit Seminar on Maritime Security Cooperation
24 November 2016
This week the governments of Australia and Indonesia co-hosted a multilateral forum on Maritime Security Cooperation in Sydney, under the auspices of the East Asia Summit (EAS).
Dr Alan Ryan, Executive Director of the Australian Civil-Military Centre said the seminar was organised by the Australian Civil-Military Centre in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The EAS Seminar on Maritime Security and Cooperation brought together representatives from throughout the region, including the participation of all ten Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states,” he said.
“The aim was to discuss national and regional experiences in information sharing of commercial vessel movements, and to formulate recommendations on ways to enhance maritime security cooperation in the region.”
Dr Ryan noted the fundamental importance of maritime trade to EAS member states.
“Commercial vessel movements in the region can also facilitate a number of potential security threats such as piracy, maritime terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and illegal fishing, which require an effective regional response,” he said.
“To facilitate enhanced maritime security cooperation in the region, it is essential that we establish common understanding and shared information systems.”
The EAS is the premier leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on key political and strategic challenges facing the East Asian region.
In 2015, EAS leaders adopted the EAS Statement on Enhancing Regional Maritime Cooperation, calling on states to take concrete actions towards enhanced maritime cooperation.
“It is an exciting time for the regional community, as technology offers novel solutions for sharing information,” Dr Ryan said.
“This seminar will enhance our understanding of the use of commercial vessel information to detect irregular behaviour and enhance maritime domain awareness.
“It provides an opportunity to identify and share best practices and to look ahead to prospects for greater maritime security cooperation in the future,” he said.