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Remarks by Mr. Peter Adams -Maritime Security Strategy Handover

Remarks delivered by Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Maritime Security, International Monetary Fund, Peter Adams at the Handover Ceremony for the Maritime Security Strategy.

Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues,  

 I would like to start by recognising the enormity of the achievement of this project. Developing one National Maritime Security Strategy is a complex undertaking in itself, developing seven national strategies and a Regional strategy has never, to the best of my knowledge, been attempted before.  

This project, delivered under some of the most challenging circumstances the world has seen with the impact of the ongoing global COVID pandemic, provides critical benefits for the RSS region. These include, first and foremost, the promotion of the maritime security agenda, and a set of strategic objectives and lines of effort that clearly set out how the RSS Signatory States, working together, will secure the maritime domain and blue economy that is so crucial to their current and future economic prosperity and that of their citizens. The strategies also provide a framework to maximise limited security resources and to avoid duplication of effort and, crucially, to identify the areas of capacity building which will enable the development of a coherent action plan to build long term, sustainable regional capability.  

This latter issue can often present a significant challenge globally, with different international donors sometimes offering the same assistance and not always addressing the key capability gaps in the respective Member States, these strategies will help ensure that this does not happen in the RSS region.   

IMO’s role in this project has been as a supporting partner to the OAS and RSS, with funding kindly provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, but one area which we have been very proud to lead was the development of National Maritime Security Risk Registers for the RSS Signatory States which in turn led to the development of the Regional Risk Register. We should acknowledge too the assistance of the UK to this endeavour. A systematic and evidence-based understanding of Maritime Security Risks lies at the heart of effective National and Regional Maritime Security Strategies, with the Risk Registers living documents which can be developed further, and which underpin decision making by National Maritime Security Committees.  

Sadly, we live in a world where new and emerging risks are multiplying and becoming more complex and inter-dependent, and the Risk Registers, properly updated, offer a powerful tool to help ensure that maritime security policy not only keeps pace with these new risks but provides a degree of future proofing.  

  As I am sure has been mentioned many times during this project, the purpose of the strategies is not to sit on a shelf, but to lead to Action Plans to implement the vision that has now been so clearly articulated within the region. We at IMO stand ready, working in partnership with OAS and RSS, to provide the technical assistance needed to help the RSS Signatory States deliver the activities to make this strategic vision a reality.  

  The strength of the RSS is as a forum to genuinely communicate between Signatory States, coordinate security training, share assets and enhance regional information sharing and maritime domain awareness. We very much look forward to working with you going forward, but for now let us take a moment to acknowledge again this very impressive achievement, which provides the vision to safeguard maritime in the region for generations to come.    

  And I’d like to hand you back to our moderator, Mrs Reid Bowen.

Written by RSS

October 26, 2021

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