Sea Transportation: Safeguarding the Straits of Malacca


September 22, 2005: Representatives of 29 nations, as well as international agencies, NGOs, and representatives of the shipping industry, have cooperated on new policies to deal with piracy and maritime security in the Straits of Malacca and adjacent waters. This is the most heavily used shipping lane on the planet. The object is to  develop greater international cooperation in the suppression of maritime crime, building upon some notable initiatives already undertaken by Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. These include;

§ Combined Maritime Patrols: The three nations are already coordinating maritime patrols in the region in order to increase effectiveness. Thailand has offered to participate, and India, China, Japan, Vietnam, and several other countries are lining up as well.

§ "Maritime Electronic Highway": The three core nations are establishing an electronic ship monitor and traffic control center, which will make use of the "Automated Identification System" mandated for use by all ships above 300 tons by the International Maritime Organization, a UN agency. 

The US has been active in promoting regional cooperation for maritime security, but has also tried to keep its distance, to prevent the perception of interference.


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