India becomes an observer of Djibouti Code of Conduct

On September 16, 2020, India joined Djibouti Code of Conduct as an observer. The Djibouti Code of Conduct is also called the Jeddah Amendment.

What is Djibouti Code of Conduct?

It is a regional maritime security cooperation agreement. It was established by International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2008.

The grouping consists of 19 member states adjoining Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, East Coast of Africa and Indian Ocean Region. India recently became an observer. The other observers of the grouping are Norway, Japan, UK, US.

The member countries of DCOC are Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt, Comoros, Jordan, Djibouti, Maldives, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Oman, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Seychelles, Somalia, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Yemen, United Republic of Tanzania.

Under the Djibouti Code of Conduct, the countries agreed on the following

  • To investigate, arrest and prosecute persons that are reasonably suspected to have committed piracy acts, robbery.
  • To intercept and seize suspected ships and property aboard
  • To rescue persons, property and ships that are subjected to piracy and armed robbery. To facilitate proper care and treatment of seafarers, fishermen and passengers subjected to such acts
  • To provide authorised officials to embark on patrol ships of another signatory.
  • To conduct shared operations among the signatory states

Jeddah Agreement

The revised Djibouti Code of Conduct is called Jeddah Agreement. Under the agreement, the countries agreed to work together to build national and regional capacity to address maritime security issues to enable sustainable development. Under Jeddah Agreement, the countries agreed to cooperate on the following

  • Interdict ships or aircrafts that are suspected to have engaged in crimes
  • To share information
  • To ensure persons illicit activities are prosecuted
  • To facilitate proper care, repatriation, treatment of maritime crime victims.

Apart from these, the Jeddah Agreement emphasises on the importance of “blue economy” to support sustainable economic growth, food security, employment, prosperity and stability. The participants under the Jeddah agreement agreed to develop a national strategy to develop maritime sector and a sustainable blue economy.