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Singapore hosts landmark co-operation meeting

Singapore hosts landmark co-operation meeting

Singapore: A three-day international meeting aimed at launching a new framework - 'the Co-operative Mechanism' - to enhance navigational safety and marine environmental protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore kicked off yesterday.  The meeting, jointly convened by Singapore and the IMO in close co-operation with Indonesia and Malaysia, is the first of its kind and is expected to set a precedent for future international co-operation.

"The Singapore-IMO Meeting is the culmination of years of close collaboration between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, the three littoral States of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore," said Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Professor S Jayakumar, who is also the Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Law. "It is a concrete outcome from the IMO Secretary-General Mitroupolous' visionary  'Protection of Vital Shipping Lanes' initiative. Significantly, this Meeting will formally launch a Co-operative Mechanism between the littoral States and user States on safety of navigation and environmental protection."

However, Efthimios Mitropoulos (pictured), Secretary-General of the IMO warned, "We should not consider the launching of the the end of the road. Rather, we should view it as an opportunity to establish and maintain an open channel of communication facilitating a meaningful dialogue for the accomplishment of all objectives set. I look forward to being advised of voluntary contributions to implement the projects identified by the littoral States."  

The Co-operative Mechanism will provide a voluntary set of agreements for the three littoral States and users of the Straits to exchange views, jointly undertake projects or make direct monetary contributions. It also establishes a committee to co-ordinate and manage specific projects, and a Fund to receive and manage direct financial contributions for sustainability. [05/09/07]