International maritime community reaffirms cooperation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore
More than 180 participants from around 80 maritime administrations and organisations, as well as embassies in Singapore, attended the 11th Co-operation Forum this morning, where they reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS), MPA Singapore said in its press release.
The Co-operation Forum is one of the three pillars of the Co-operative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection in the SOMS. It is the main avenue for the three littoral States (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) of the SOMS and the international maritime community to engage in dialogue, exchange information and share perspectives on important issues relating to the SOMS.
Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore’s Co-ordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, opened the Co-operation Forum, held from 24 to 25 September 2018. Other maritime luminaries present included Mr Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General Emeritus of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).
In his opening address, Mr Khaw spoke about the importance of the keeping the SOMS open, safe and clean, to enable and facilitate global maritime trade. He also underscored the importance of the Co-operative Mechanism to fostering close cooperation among all stakeholders. “The Co-operative Mechanism is an important platform for the three littoral states (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore), as well as all user states and stakeholders, to come together and address issues of common concern, and collaborate to enhance navigational safety and environmental protection in the SOMS,” said Mr Khaw.
Discussion topics during the Forum centred on the developments, challenges and opportunities faced by the industry in enhancing the safety of navigation, and protection of the marine environment in the SOMS. Participants were invited to present their insights and exchange perspectives on a wide range of issues. These included the applications of technology in navigational safety, challenges and opportunities of e-navigation, prevention and preparedness for marine pollution and practical approaches on the protection of the marine environment.
The Co-operation Forum is chaired and hosted on an annual rotational basis among the three littoral States of the SOMS. This year’s Forum is chaired by Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
Mr Tan’s counterparts, Mr Agus Purnomo, Director General of Sea Transportation, Ministry of Transportation, Republic of Indonesia and Dato’ Hj Baharin Bin Dato’ Abdul Hamid, Director General of Marine Department, Malaysia represented their respective States at the Forum.
About the Co-operative Mechanism
The Co-operative Mechanism was launched at the IMO-Singapore Meeting in September 2007 and focuses on navigational safety and environmental protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS). It consists of three pillars namely, the Co-operation Forum (CF), the Project Co-ordination Committee (PCC) and the Aids to Navigation Fund (ANF).
The Project Co-ordination Committee (PCC), the second pillar of the Co-operative Mechanism, co-ordinates the implementation of Straits Projects to enhance navigational safety and environmental protection in the SOMS. Since its inception in 2007, the PCC has undertaken 13 Straits Projects involving collaborative efforts and partnerships between the littoral States and various stakeholders. Six projects are currently ongoing and making good progress. The 11th PCC meeting will be held on 28 September 2018.
The Aids to Navigation Fund, the third pillar of the Co-operative Mechanism, is the main platform for the provision and maintenance of aids to navigation (AtoN) in the SOMS and plays an important role in ensuring a sustainable means of financing the upkeep of AtoNs that is critical to the safe navigation of ships in the SOMS. The ANF receives financial contributions from the international maritime community and to date, has received over US$23 million. The 21st ANF Committee meeting was held from 20 – 21 September 2018 in Malacca, Malaysia.