Asia, Europe mull better maritime security cooperation

Officials and experts from Asia and Europe held extensive discussions here Monday on improving maritime security cooperation.

Organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Germany-based Konrad Adenauer Foundation, more than 30 participants, including navy, coastguard, police and maritime officials and scholars from a dozen Asian and European countries attended the policy conference on Euro-Asian cooperation in combating transnational organized crime by sea.

The experts shared studies on and experience in counter piracy, arms trafficking, drug smuggling and human trafficking by sea, and exchanged views on promoting closer cooperation among Asian and European countries.

Within the framework of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the experts agreed that information sharing and mechanism building were needed to enhance cooperation.

Rear Admiral Marco Santarini, assistant director of the Italian Institute for Advanced Defense Studies, called for “more complex and dedicated approaches” among European and Asian countries to combat maritime piracy that not only harasses the Gulf of Aden, but also haunts Southeast Asia.

Chang-Hoon Shin, director of international law and conflict from the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in South Korea, said “trust building” on hard issues among countries was necessary to promote the sharing of information.

The conference, which took place in Beijing’s eastern Chaoyang district, was also part of the EU-Asia Dialogue program, co-funded by the European Union.


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