Singapore, as one of the 20 Contracting Parties to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP), and host to the ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), is pleased to have participated in the 15th Anniversary Symposium of ReCAAP held on Thursday.
Organised virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Symposium recognised the achievements of ReCAAP over the past 15 years and reaffirmed the commitment of the Contracting Parties to sustain the activities of ReCAAP to combat piracy and sea robberies in Asia.
In his welcome address, Singapore Minister for Transport, Ong Ye Kung, emphasised the need for the global community to exercise collective responsibility to protect global commons like the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, and recognised the ReCAAP ISC as a vital part of the regional anti-piracy architecture for international cooperation against a transboundary problem. Mr Ong added, “Singapore is honoured to have played an active part in the ISC’s development over the years and will continue to work with the Contracting Parties of ReCAAP in giving the centre our strongest support.”
International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, delivered the keynote address at the symposium. In his address, Mr Lim said that the IMO remained committed to being supportive of ReCAAP to enhance regional cooperation through information sharing and capacity building. Mr Lim also encouraged ReCAAP to share its experience and achievements with other regions, so as to demonstrate what effective regional collaboration can achieve to address both long-lasting but also emerging security threats.
Speaking as a panellist at the panel discussion on ‘The Future of ReCAAP’, Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), outlined how ReCAAP could demonstrate its continued relevance by leveraging data analytics and predictive analysis to distill useful trends for the shipping industry and law enforcement authorities, and forge new areas of collaboration to enhance ReCAAP’s role as a key node within the wider international maritime community.
Singapore also participated in the ReCAAP 15th Governing Council meeting held virtually from 16 to 17 March 2021. At the meeting, the Governing Council reviewed the work of the ReCAAP ISC in 2020 and discussed the activities and strategies for 2021 and beyond.
Quah said, “ReCAAP has grown significantly in the last 15 years. Today, it is recognised as a successful model of strong inter-governmental co-operation against piracy and sea robbery through timely reporting, information sharing, and capacity building. Countries from beyond Asia have joined, adding to the depth of experiences and strengths of ReCAAP. Our heartiest congratulations to the Governor of Philippines for his renewal as Chairperson of the Governing Council and to the Governor of Bangladesh for her appointment as Vice-Chairperson. We look forward to supporting them in their new roles, as we continue the good work of ReCAAP as a global model for inter-governmental co-operation against piracy and sea robbery.”