From an IOM press statement:
“IOM is taking part in a three-day meeting organized by UNHCR and the Government of Djibouti on how best to respond to the needs of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees who find themselves in situations of distress at sea. The meeting, which opens today [8 November] in Djibouti, brings together government representatives and academics alongside experts from UNHCR, IOM, the International Maritime Organization, the ICRC and IFRC….
‘Despite the tightening of existing Conventions to reinforce the global Search and Rescue regime, gaps remain when it comes to putting these principles into practice,’ says IOM’s Irena Vojackova-Sollorano. ‘Cooperative approaches that bring together governments, the shipping industry, NGOs and international organizations are therefore urgently needed if we are to ensure the safety and protection of all people rescued at sea.’…”
Click here for full press statement.
Italian Interior Minister Maroni has criticised Malta for failing to immediately deploy rescue ships to assist the migrant boat that sank near Lampedusa. The Armed Forces of Malta said that the migrant boat did not capsize until after two Italian coast guard boats had responded and were on scene attempting to render assistance. The AFM said the first call for assistance was received Wednesday at 0025, the Rescue Co-ordination Centre of the AFM notified Italian Coast Guard headquarters in Rome and NATO headquarter in Naples at 0120, two Italian coast guard boats and an Italian fishing vessel, the Cartagine, were on scene by 0416, and the migrant boat capsized around 0535. The migrant boat was closer to Italian territory than to Malta, but was located within Malta’s large Search and Rescue Area. Italy and Malta have had past disputes over the boundaries of the SAR with Italy calling for the Maltese SAR to be reduced in size.
The Secretary-General of International Maritime Organization, Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, issued a statement saying that “[i]t was ironic that the devastating news of this latest tragedy reached us while we were holding a [Legal Committtee] meeting with representatives of Italy and Spain to consider what measures countries in the Mediterranean Basin should take to deal with the increasing number of persons leaving north African and eastern Mediterranean countries to seek refuge in Europe.”
The statement also said that “IMO is in contact with Italy, Malta and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The [Legal Committee] meeting mentioned above was hosted by IMO and held against a background of increasing movement of persons by sea for political and socio-economic reasons or as a result of armed conflict. It was part of an on-going process aimed at improving existing provisions for rescuing migrants at sea and disembarking them at a place of safety, in accordance with the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR Convention) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention).”
Click, here, here, here, and here for articles. (EN)
Click here for article. (IT)
Click here for map the SARs.
Click here for IMO Statement.
From IMO: “Complete search and rescue cover around Africa’s coast was secured on Thursday (3 March 2011) with the signing, in the presence of representatives from Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco and Senegal, of an ad-hoc multi-lateral co-operative agreement on the North and West African sub-regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), which establishes a new Morocco MRCC near Rabat, with its associated sub-centres. The Morocco sub-regional MRCC, located at Bouznika, a seaside area 20 Km from Rabat, will join those already commissioned in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2006; in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2007; in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2008; and in Monrovia, Liberia, in 2009, thus completing the final link in the chain of sub-regional African MRCCs, each with its own network of associated sub-centres….” IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos said “The sharing of information derived from the centres we establish will also play an important role in the fight against piracy, kidnap and ransom on the high seas – something, which IMO, and the whole maritime community, has pledged to tackle with renewed vigour during 2011 in line with this year’s World Maritime Day theme “Piracy: Orchestrating the response”.
Click here for link to IMO statement.
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Knowledge Centre updated in August its Information Resources document on “Stowaways / Illegal Migrants / Treatment of Persons Rescued at Sea.”
The document contains information, citations, and links to IMO documents, publications, circulars, and reports, as well as non-IMO citations and / or links to many other resources, including relevant UN reports, resolutions, and treaties.
Click here for the document.
Filed under General, Reports