African Union signs landmark charter on maritime security
(VNF) - African leaders on October 15th signed a landmark charter that aims to preserve the continent’s maritime security and safety.
The document commits all Member countries to protect their environment. The Charter also aims to prevent national and transnational crimes, including terrorism, piracy, armed robbery, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and illegal and unregulated fishing.
The opening ceremony of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Lome, capital of Togo, Oct. 15th. (Photo: Internet)
Among other things, the Charter aims to prevent national and transnational crimes, including terrorism, piracy, armed robbery, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and illegal and unregulated fishing.
“I am pleased about the mobilization of the continent for a long-term commitment and an effective collective response through the development of the African Charter project on safety and maritime safety. Our common desire to have such valuable legal instrument should also translate into our determination to make it applicable and operational through its ratification,” said AU chairman Idriss Deby, also Chad’s president.
AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, however, said that the Charter “has shortcomings.”
She said the Charter mainly focuses on safety and security issues, not development. She also called on delegates to continue to make suggestions and help AU draw up an annex to the Charter in the future, which responds to the development side of the maritime space.
Of the 54 AU member states, 38 are coastal or island states. Over 90 per cent of Africa’s exports and imports are transported through the seas, oceans and waterways./.
( Compiled by VNF )