The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is working to improve maritime security in West Africa and is offering a new and innovative program entitled the “IMO Whole of Government Approach to Maritime Security”. The program consists of integrated workshops and tailored support aimed at helping IMO Member States to develop National Maritime Security Committees, Risk Registers and Strategies.
Peter Adams, IMO Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on maritime security, explains: “At IMO, we believe that an inclusive approach that draws key stakeholders together is most likely to yield meaningful results. Therefore, the program aims to create a cross-government committee that can be aided by the Risk Register to objectively identify security gaps and prioritize where to steer future policy development, funding and capacity building efforts. It also leads to the development of a National Maritime Security Strategy that provide the strategic objectives, which explain how the Member State will secure its maritime domain for the foreseeable future. We hope to replicate the IMO Whole of Government Approach to Maritime Security in other regions in the future.”
The program has been carefully designed based on IMO’s global maritime security experience, including assisting countries to implement IMO’s maritime security measures, such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The program provides a practical framework to underpin effective national maritime security decision making and governance, tailored to the specific needs of the respective Member State. Each element can be delivered either as a stand-alone unit or as an integrated program. Depending upon the option(s) chosen, the program timeline can range from three to eighteen months.
Subject to available funding, IMO will work with the member state to provide the framework, expert workshops and consultancy support. IMO will be supporting Nigeria in the development of its National Maritime Security Strategy, with the project due to be launched towards the end of 2021 and completed within an 18month period.