Maritime Security assumed a significant role in the “Muskoka Declaration Recovery and New Beginnings
” issued by the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8)1 at the end of their summit, held June 25-26 in Muskoka, Canada. Under the rubric of International Peace and Security, the leaders addressed terrorism, international organized crime (including drug trafficking), and piracy among other threats to global stability, security, and prosperity. Joined by several African and Caribbean region leaders in discussing these vulnerabilities, the G8 committed to strengthening: “the international availability of civilian experts to support rule of law and security institutions; the capacities of key littoral states and regional organizations for maritime security; and international peace operations.” Annex II, “Strengthening Civilian Security Systems,” to the Muskoka Declaration further elaborates on these three interrelated initiatives.
In the second part of the Annex, “Maritime Security Capacity,” the G8 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia and expressed concern over “its spread to nearby waters.” G8 members will continue to assist those littoral states and regional organizations in building capacity “in areas such as maritime governance, patrol aviation, coast guards, fisheries enforcement, and maritime intelligence sharing and fusion, as well as legislative, prosecutorial and correctional” functions. The goals are to better secure coastlines and to better prosecute pirates. In addition, however, G8 leaders believe these efforts will “help counter the growing links between criminal and terror networks that undermine the stability and governance of many states in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.”
Additional concerns about the continuing terrorist threat and about “the threat of growing links between terrorists, other criminals and insurgents, and the increasing ties between drug trafficking organizations,” resulted in the G8 leader issuing a separate statement on countering terrorism
1 The Group of Eight includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The leaders of these countries meet in summit format as the G8 once a year. In addition, the European Union participates with Observer status.
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