G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group (Accra, 3-4 December 2014)

The G7 Friends of the Gulf of Guinea Group (G7++FOGG), composed of Germany, Canada, the United States, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Brazil (observer), South Korea, Denmark, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, the European Union, UNODC and INTERPOL met in Accra on 3rd December 2014.

They reviewed their endeavor to support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2018 (2011) and 2039 (2012), and Yaoundé summit declarations of June 2013 on maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea.

They met with their colleagues of ECCAS and ECOWAS, as well as with representatives from the oil and gas and shipping industries to review the concerns that those companies over the threats to freedom of navigation and of trade in the Gulf of Guinea waters. They assessed that the fight against maritime crime will also benefit countries and populations in the Gulf of Guinea, who otherwise, will miss those resources.

The meeting was opened by the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana Hannah Tetteh, and was chaired by her Excellency Ambassador Véronique Roger-Lacan, French Special Representative for the fight against maritime piracy. His Excellency the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas addressed the meeting and ensured that he would make everything in his power to mobilize ECOWAS and ECOWAS Member States so that appropriate follow on is proposed on these issues.

In 2013, the number of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea grew to 169, compared to 56 in 2010, and in 2014, until September, 70 attacks had been recorded, more violent than in the past years. In 2013, 30 hostages had been taken by maritime criminals. This threat now adds to instability in West Africa which is also fueled by constant terrorist threat in the Sahel as well as illegal drug, human and medicine trafficking in the area.

The meeting decided that a full fledge maritime security and safety architecture is to be established by the end of 2016, and that police and judicial cooperation has to be promoted in the region, so as to create a single criminal space in West and Central Africa and fight against the impunity of maritime criminal networks.


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