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Asian Coast Guards unite to tackle illicit maritime activities at HACGAM 2023 | India News

Asian Coast Guards unite to tackle illicit maritime activities at HACGAM 2023 | India News

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HACGAM primarily focuses on promoting cooperation among Asian Coast Guards, with the overarching goal of ensuring safe, secure, and clean seas in the region.

Asian Coast Guards

Image: PIB

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) actively participated in the 19th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM), held in Istanbul, Türkiye, from September 5 to 8, 2023. Under the leadership of Director General Rakesh Pal, a four-member ICG delegation engaged in discussions with 23 member Coast Guard Agencies and two associate members represented by ReCAAP and UNODC. 

During this pivotal three-day High-Level Meeting, Coast Guard heads from member nations convened to address crucial maritime issues. The topics covered a spectrum of challenges, ranging from maritime law enforcement to ensuring the safety and security of lives at sea and marine environment protection. Additionally, the forum explored strategies to combat illicit activities such as drug and human trafficking and the trafficking of weapons at sea. These discussions laid the groundwork for further collaboration among Asian Coast Guards, enhancing maritime security and cooperation in the region. 

Strengthening the Asian Maritime Cooperation

The 19th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM), which took place in Istanbul, Türkiye, from September 5 to 8, 2023, saw active engagement from the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Led by Director General Rakesh Pal, a four-member ICG delegation participated in this annual event, joining forces with 23 Coast Guard Agencies and two associate members represented by ReCAAP and UNODC.

DG Rakesh Pal, PTM, TM Director General @IndiaCoastGuard #DGICG led the #Indian delegation to 19th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Meeting #HACGAM at #Istanbul, #Turkiye from September 5 – 8. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/3ugWx1PMdg

— Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) September 8, 2023

During this comprehensive three-day High-Level Meeting, the Coast Guard heads from member nations deliberated on a wide array of critical maritime issues. These discussions encompassed aspects such as maritime law enforcement, ensuring the safety and security of lives at sea, marine environment protection, and the combatting of illicit activities, including drug and human trafficking, as well as the trafficking of weapons at sea. The forum emerged with a renewed commitment to strengthening maritime cooperation among Asian Coast Guards.

HACGAM is a multilateral platform stemming from a Japanese initiative to foster collaboration among regional Coast Guards. Its establishment followed the successful capture of the pirated vessel MV Alondra Rainbow by the Indian Coast Guard in November 1999. HACGAM primarily focuses on promoting cooperation among Coast Guards from member Asian states, with the overarching goal of ensuring safe, secure, and clean seas in the region. The forum operates through four Working Groups, each dedicated to a specific area, including Search and Rescue (SAR), environmental protection, controlling unlawful activities at sea, and information sharing. The Indian Coast Guard chairs the SAR Working Group and actively contributes to the other groups. The previous edition of HACGAM was hosted in New Delhi in 2022.

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