India has joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct, also known as Jeddah Amendment, as an Observer State, following the high-level meeting of the
Djibouti Code of Conduct/ Jeddah Amendment (DCOC/JA) held virtually on 26 August to boost the outreach of its Indian Ocean Region.
What is Djibouti Code of Conduct?
- It is a regional maritime security cooperation agreement adopted on 29th January 2009.
- The conduct was established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
- It consists of 20 member states surrounding the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, East Coast of Africa and the Indian Ocean Region, that include
Eritrea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Oman, Comoros, Jordan, Djibouti, Maldives, Kenya, Somalia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Seychelles, Yemen, UAE (United Arab Emirates), and the United Republic of Tanzania.
- The observers include- UK, Norway, US, Japan and India, which has recently become an observer state under the grouping.
- Under the Djibouti Code of Conduct, the signatories accepted to co-operate to the possible extent in the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
What is Jeddah Agreement?
- The Jeddah Agreement is the revised Djibouti Code of Conduct. In other words, it is an amendment to DCOC, which was made in the year 2017 to cover illicit maritime activities, such as illegal, unreported & unregulated fishing, human trafficking and to build regional and national capacity to address wider maritime security issues.
- Under the agreement, the signatories agreed to work collectively to build national and regional capacity to address maritime security matters.
- The Jeddah Agreement emphasises on the Blue Economy, which will support food security, sustainable economic growth, maritime security, employment, prosperity, and stability in the region.
Objectives of the Grouping
Under the Djibouti Code of Conduct, the member countries work with the following objectives:
- To investigate, arrest and prosecute individuals suspected to commit the piracy acts in the region.
- To intercept and seize suspected property and ships.
- To rescue the ships, persons and property that are subjected to piracy and armed robbery.
- To give proper care and treatment to fishermen, seafarers, and passengers.
- To hire authorised officials for keeping a check on patrol ships.
According to a statement of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India as an Observer at the DCOC/JA, will work jointly with the DCOC/JA member states towards coordinating and contributing to improved maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.