Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP)
The seas surrounding Asia are some of the busiest in the world. With the region’s flourishing economy, the amount of trade and shipping traffic has rapidly increased over the years. However, this has also led to an increase in piracy and armed robbery against ships, posing a threat to the safety and security of vessels and their crews.
To address this menace, a Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) was established in 2006. The agreement is a multilateral cooperative effort between 20 Asian countries and is the first regional government-to-government agreement to tackle maritime crime.
ReCAAP’s mandate is to promote cooperation among Asian countries to prevent and respond to piracy and armed robbery at sea. It aims to enhance information sharing, capacity building, and regional cooperation among member states to ensure safe and secure shipping in the region.
One of the key successes of ReCAAP is its Information Sharing Centre (ISC) based in Singapore. The ISC collects and disseminates information on piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region, and alerts member states and relevant authorities to potential threats. This helps to facilitate timely and effective responses, reducing the risk of harm to vessels and their crews.
Moreover, ReCAAP has also facilitated training and capacity building programs for its member states. These programs help to enhance their knowledge and skills in maritime law enforcement, including surveillance, intelligence gathering, and investigation techniques.
Since its establishment, ReCAAP has contributed significantly to reducing piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region. According to its annual reports, there has been a steady decline in the number of such incidents since 2014.
In 2018, ReCAAP reported 76 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships, the lowest number since its inception, and a 25% decrease from the previous year. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the agreement and the importance of regional cooperation in tackling maritime crime.
In conclusion, ReCAAP serves as an excellent example of how regional cooperation can tackle maritime crime effectively. Its success in reducing piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region highlights the importance of collaborative efforts among countries to ensure safe and secure shipping. With the continued cooperation of its member states and support from international organizations, ReCAAP is poised to play a critical role in maintaining maritime security in Asia for years to come.
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