The US has joined anti-piracy organisation Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
This decision makes the US the twentieth country to join ReCAAP, which is the first regional government-to-government agreement that aims to encourage and strengthen cooperation in order to combat piracy and armed robbery in Asia.
ReCAAP stated that the country’s accession to ReCAAP signifies the growing strength of the organisation’s network and demonstrates the importance of international cooperation to effectively address the challenges in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships.
US Coast Guard prevention policy assistant commandant rear admiral Paul F Thomas has been selected as the US governor for the ReCAAP information sharing centre (ISC).
Thomas said: "The United States’ acceptance as part of the ReCAAP governing council continues our administration’s move to deepen our diplomatic, security and people-to-people ties with key Asian multilateral organisations."
The Alameda rescue coordination centre of the US Coast Guard will be the focal point in the US.
ReCAAP ISC, which was established under the ReCAAP agreement, exchanges information on incidents of piracy and armed robbery among contracting parties. The organisation also supports the capacity building and cooperative arrangements for combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region.
In August 2013, Australia joined ReCAAP as its nineteenth contracting party.
Image: ReCAAP ISC deputy director LTC (Retd) Nicholas Teo visits the ReCAAP US focal point in Washington. Photo: courtesy of ReCAAP ISC.