Heads of Asian Coast Guard agen­cies to meet in Delhi

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY -

The 8th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agen­cies Meet­ing (HACGAM) will be held in Oc­to­ber 2012 in New Delhi. This is the first time the HACGAM meet­ing is be­ing held in the South Asian re­gion. HACGAM is an apex forum fa­cil­i­tat­ing con­gre­ga­tion of all the ma­jor Coast Guard Agen­cies of Asian re­gion. This ini­tia­tive was de­vel­oped ini­tially in 2004 to dis­cuss co­op­er­a­tion among the mem­ber or­gan­i­sa­tions to com­bat piracy in the re­gion. How­ever, the scope of dis­cus­sions has been ex­panded to in­clude law en­force­ment, maritime se­cu­rity, dis­as­ter preven­tion and re­lief and ca­pac­ity build­ing. Presently, there are more than 20 mem­ber or­gan­i­sa­tions from 17 coun­tries that are part of the ini­tia­tive.

The process of co­op­er­a­tion amongst the Asian Coast Guard Agen­cies was ini­ti­ated by Ja­pan con­se­quent to the cap­ture of the pi­rated ves­sel M.V. Alon­dra Rain­bow by the In­dian Navy and Coast Guard in Novem­ber 1999. Sub­se­quently, a se­ries of re­gional se­nior ex­perts meet­ings of coast guard agen­cies of Asia were held on com­bat­ing piracy and armed rob­bery against ships. Ac­cord­ingly, the first HACGAM was held in Tokyo, Ja­pan in 2004. At present, the ini­tia­tive con­sists of 17 coun­tries and one re­gion. These in­clude Bangladesh, Brunei, Cam­bo­dia, China, In­dia, In­done­sia, Ja­pan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myan­mar, Pak­istan, Philippines, Sin­ga­pore, Sri Lanka, Thai­land, Viet­nam and Hong Kong. Fur­ther, it was also agreed that the scope of dis­cus­sions may not be re­stricted only to piracy is­sues, but may also in­clude all Coast Guard re­lated is­sues.

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