IMO has taken part in the annual plenary meeting of G7 Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++ FoGG) which focuses on dealing with illegal activities at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.
The online event (1-3 December) included discussions on how the Yaoundé Code of Conduct will function going forward. The Code’s primary objective is to manage and considerably reduce the adverse impacts from piracy, armed robbery against ships and other illicit maritime activities. It was adopted in 2013.
In his opening remarks, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the urgency of the security situation in the Gulf of Guinea and the need for cooperation. He also reiterated that “IMO, in collaboration with the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, will continue to support training and other capacity-building activities for individual Gulf of Guinea states as well as cooperative regional efforts”.
Speaking at the event, IMO’s Acting Head of the Maritime Security Section, Gisela Vieira, emphasised that IMO is continuing to work with Member States via virtual platforms, despite much of the in-the-field work being on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, IMO’s Gulf of Guinea expert has conducted several virtual meetings with the Inter-regional coordination center (ICC) to discuss implementation, sustainability and to assess a possible need for revision of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct framework.
The FOGG was hosted under the Co-Chairship of the United States and GABON, with more than 80 participants from G7++ FoGG countries including West and Central Africa, international organizations and industry taking part. The co-chairs in 2021 will be the United Kingdom and Senegal.