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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 387th meeting held at the ministerial level, on 29 July 2013, adopted the following decision on the Conclusions of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Commission of the Gulf of Guinea (CGG) on maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea, held in Yaoundé, on 24 and 25 June 2013:

Council,

1. Commends the ECCAS and the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government for holding a Summit aimed at elaborating a common strategy to secure traffic in the Gulf of Guinea, in collaboration with the CGG;

2. Commends also President Paul BIYA and the Government of Cameroon for the perfect organization and hosting of the Summit;

3. Expresses its deep concern that Africa has become one of the major hubs for global crude oil theft, money laundering, illegal arms and drug smuggling, human trafficking and smuggling, environmental crimes, piracy and armed robbery at sea, dumping of toxic waste, and maritime terrorism, and concurs that maritime insecurity poses a serious threat to the peace and stability of African States as it undermines the people's development and wellbeing;

4. Notes with satisfaction that the leaders of Central and West Africa have taken a major and commendable step towards boosting maritime safety and security as the future of Africa, among other sectors, resides in her blue economy, which is a new frontline of Africa's renaissance;

5. Welcomes the creation of an inter-regional Coordination Centre on Maritime Safety and Security for Central and West Africa based in Cameroon, and the adoption of a Code of Conduct on the prevention and repression of acts of piracy, armed robbery against vessels and illicit activities in the West and Central African maritime domain;

6. Supports the call by the Yaoundé Summit exhorting the ECCAS, the ECOWAS and the Commission of the Gulf of Guinea to elaborate and adopt a regional strategy in line with the AU 2050 AIM Strategy;

7. Requests the Commission to establish a framework of collaboration with the Coordination Centre on Maritime Safety and Security in Yaoundé, and to elaborate modalities for the integration of the Code of Conduct mentioned above for it to become one of the AU relevant legal instruments on maritime safety and security;

8. Invites the ECCAS and the CGG Secretariats, as well as the ECOWAS Commission, to transmit the said Code of Conduct to the Chairperson of the AU Commission after its due ratification by the Parties;

9. Encourages Regional Economic Communities in the continent, which have not yet set up mechanisms to secure their maritime domains, to emulate the example set by the ECCAS, the ECOWAS and the CGG, in order to strengthen the security and safety of Africa’s coasts and island countries;

10. Requests the Commission to facilitate the process towards the establishment of a platform for experience sharing on maritime safety and security for all the regions of the continent;

11. Further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to forward the ECCAS/ECOWAS Regional Strategy, as adopted in Yaoundé, to the UN Secretary-General and, through him, to the UN Security Council, for information and action as appropriate, bearing in mind the relevant provisions of resolution 2039 (2012);

12. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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Cameroon ECCAS ECOWAS

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