Sea Transportation: Asia Unites Against Piracy


July 1, 2006: The "Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia" (ReCAAP), will go into force on September 4, 2006. The nations that have signed on for ReCAAP ( Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, South Korea, Vietnam, India, and Sri Lanka), are about to be joined by Brunei, which has signed it and in the process of ratification.

ReCAAP is the first regional government-to-government agreement to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. Among the initial steps to be taken is setting up a permanent multi-nationally-staffed "Information Sharing Centre" (ISC), in Singapore, which will become operative on September 4th. ReCAAP supplements earlier agreements among Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia to combat piracy in the Straits of Malacca (SOM).

Although the U.S. the Pacific Fleet had a role in promoting both the SOM and ReCAAP projects, as examples of "Regional Maritime Security" consortia, there will be no direct American role in the program. But given the constant and widespread presence of the U.S. Navy in the region, there will always be informal American participation in the anti-piracy program.


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