APHoMSA 2014—continuing to strengthen regional cooperation
The 15th session of the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) forum was held in Fiji from 5 to 7 May 2014. APHoMSA brings together senior maritime officials from across the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues of mutual interest.
APHoMSA brings together senior maritime officials from across the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Australia has a central role in APHoMSA as the Secretariat.
Sixteen existing Member states and territories were represented as were five standing Observer organisations. The Observers were: the International Maritime Organization (IMO); ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre; Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC); Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP); and the Secretariat of the Tokyo MoU.
Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu were also present and offered Member status by the group.
The APHoMSA forum proved highly successful with agreement reached on a formalised structure for the forum and improved governance arrangements, including the agreement of an APHoMSA Strategy up to 2020 and the establishment of rules of procedure. There is an active forward agenda planned in coming months and in the lead up to the 16th session of APHoMSA, which will be hosted by China in 2015. Members also discussed a number of areas where increased regional collaboration could occur on matters such as technical cooperation, maritime safety assistance programs, non-convention vessels and implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention.
While in Fiji, AMSA also took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with a number of national maritime authorities, including the China Maritime Safety Administration (China MSA), the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), and the Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA).