Press release

AU-EU Maritime Ministerial “Lessons Learnt” Meeting scheduled in Seychelles

February 4, 2015

Seychelles is hosting the Maritime Safety and Security Ministerial meeting of the African Union and European Union to be held from the 8th to the 9th February at the Savoy Resort & Spa. The overarching theme of the meeting is that of ‘Lessons Learnt’ whereby best practices and experiences are defined in the context of tackling issues pertaining to maritime security.

Ministers responsible for Maritime Safety and Security and concerned Heads of organisations will be in attendance to help raise awareness to existential threats posed by criminality at sea.

International organisations such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), UN (United Nations), IOC (Indian Ocean Commission), ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) Key international partners who have been at the forefront of the fight against piracy such as the United Kingdom, United States, France, Greece, Australia, India, Germany, Spain and United Arab Emirates are also invited to attend the meeting.

This meeting is in the same vein as the EU-AU Meeting, which took place in Brussels in April of last year where the development and the management of African resources including the ‘Blue economy’ initiative involving aquaculture and managing fish stocks were discussed.

The meeting will address the root causes of piracy human and drug trafficking and other illicit criminal activities that pose a threat to maritime safety and human security in the Gulf of Guinea and the Horn Africa.

This will be a strategic meeting evaluating the progress of the joint efforts of the African states and the EU in fighting and containing piracy. This include regional co-operation such as the EUNAV FOR and the Atalanta Project. The “Lessons Learnt” umbrella will be a brainstorming opportunity to assess the regional co-operation and establish permanent solutions in dealing with piracy, human trafficking, environment crimes and smuggling of immigrants consistent with the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy. The meeting will be also be a preparation for the AU-EU summit which is scheduled later during this year in Togo.

Seychelles’ engagement in Maritime Security has been exemplary regardless of its defined status as a small island state as it has contributed to the arrest, detainment and prosecution of suspected Somalia based pirates. This meeting will act as a forum for African states and the EU focusing on how to tackle the multidimensional nature of organised crime at sea.