Thursday 6th February 2019
HRAS Trustee Professor Steven Haines and Advisory Board Member Dr Sofia Galani both attended a workshop in Colombo between 28-30 January in Sri Lanka at the invitation of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime’s Global Maritime Crime Programme to discuss issues relating to maritime security and law enforcement at sea.
The subjects discussed the implementation within the Indian Ocean Region of the 1988 Vienna Convention Against the Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the problems associated with interdiction of ‘Vessels Without Nationality’ (un-flagged vessels, in common terminology), and the legal framework for the protection of undersea cables (which carry over 90% of global internet traffic).
Dr Galani gave a formal presentation on the human rights issues raised by enforcement actions and both Dr Galani and Professor Haines engaged in working groups to discuss the issues raised. Representatives from over twenty states were involved (in their personal capacities) but the meeting also ended with a Ministerial session attended by Government Ministers from Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Seychelles, as well as the Attorney General of Somalia and the Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka (all of whom delivered statements supporting the UNODC’s activities in this vital area) . This meeting preceded a UN Security Council Open Debate on Maritime Crime on Tuesday 5 February.