Over the past few decades maritime security has emerged as an issue of serious concern and in recent years has been pushed forward into the forefront of IMO’s agenda. The current activity in this field largely stems from the recent upsurge in piracy incidents in the Horn of Africa and the tragic events which took place in New York City on 11 September 2001. However, maritime insecurity as a real and significant threat in the current milieu was triggered as early as 1985 by the Achille Lauro incident occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. That unfortunate event led to the adoption in 1988 of the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA). Other incidents have occurred subsequently which may be termed acts of terrorism in line with the contemporary perception of that phenomenon. Some of these are mentioned later in this chapter. There has also been a significant increase in other types of violent criminal acts at sea, which are generally referred to as piracy, although the term does not always necessarily reflect an accurate description of the atrocity committed and is often a misnomer in terms of international law. Whatever rhetorical and other implications may result from the spurious use of the terms mentioned above, it is imperative that a realistic re-examination of the international regime of maritime security be carried out urgently, and that due heed be paid to the plight of those, including seafarers, who are directly involved in the movement of goods by sea.
- Armed Robbery
- Maritime Safety
- Maritime Security
- Maritime Zone
- International Legal Instrument
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