Experts, senior public officials and military officers are meeting, as from today, at Casa África (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) to analyse maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. The participants, from Gulf Coast States, Member States of the European Union and other countries, will address the major security challenges facing the region and the instruments available to tackle them.
The seminar entitled “Consolidating maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea: the present and future of an alliance for stability and prosperity” has been organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation and the Ministry of Defence of Spain as part of the efforts to step up cooperation with countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to peace and security. This is one of the four strategic goals of the 3rd Africa Plan.
The meeting will be attended by representatives from the Gulf Coast States (Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo), European States (Germany, Denmark, France and Portugal) and the United States of America. Nicolás Berlanga, European Union Coordinator for the Gulf of Guinea, the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) of Yaoundé, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Association of Spanish Shipowners (Spanish acronym: ANAVE) and the company MAERSK, on behalf of the private sector, will also attend the meeting.
This initiative responds to the vital importance of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea for stability and prosperity of the Gulf Coast States and of the continent in general, both due to its strategic location and the importance and density of maritime traffic in its waters.
The participants will take stock of the so-called regional maritime security architecture (Yaoundé Code of Conduct) over the coming days, and analyse the challenges and shared responses, along with the relationship between security, the blue economy and the development of the Gulf Coast States. They will also analyse cooperation initiatives in this field at both a bilateral and multilateral level.
The aim of this meeting is to tackle such threats as piracy, illegal fishing, illegal trade and environmental degradation through a multidimensional approach, driven and headed up by African countries.
-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-