The year has continued to be dominated by reorganisations and budget issues in several member countries. This has sometimes impacted on the ability of members to travel to meetings and to dedicate valuable time in pursuit of the Association’s strategic objectives whilst dealing with the myriad demands to deliver on more short-term tactical tasks.
Nevertheless, there are some key themes that I would like to share with you.
We continue to build on our position as experts on maritime security through representation at a number of high-profile fora. This is equally important for our members as it allows their views to be shared with policy makers and operational bodies. Currently:
· We are preparing for next year’s NSS, (Nuclear Security Summit), to be held in the Netherlands.
· We are actively engaged with SAGMAS and have participated in all recent meetings.
· We continuously monitor developments in ports across Europe and have been very interested in the recent multi-agency operations in the port of Antwerp tackling a combined cyber and physical threat; (this threat obscured cargo movements for port operators over a period of many months). We are hoping to have a speaker on this topic from one of the key stakeholders at our conference in 2014.
· Our links with coastguards have been strengthened. We are building on our strong interaction with activities in the North Sea and are currently exploring opportunities for further engagement with relevant groups in the Baltic Sea. Again, we are pleased to announce that the Dutch Coastguard will be represented at senior level at our conference in 2014 and coastguard operations will form one of the topics at the conference.
· We are undertaking studies on specific threats, including to particular vessel types such as chemical and LPG tankers. These will not be covered in detail in this update. However, if you are interested in this area, please make direct contact with a member of the Maritime Sub-group (details on Committee page of the website).
Peter van den Berg
Vice President Maritime