Aiming to facilitate and strengthen cooperation among coastal security forces of 17 Asian countries including China and Pakistan, India will host the eighth round of the Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) in New Delhi in October 2012.
The meeting of the apex forum facilitating congregation of all the major coast guard agencies of Asian region, will also be attended by the representatives of China and Pakistan to discuss a broad range of maritime issues, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) officials said here today.
“More than 20 member organisations from 17 countries are part of the HACGAM initiative. Over the years, its scope of discussions has been expanded to include law enforcement, maritime security, disaster prevention and relief and capacity building,” they said.
The initiative was first developed by Japan in 2004 to discuss cooperation among the member organisations to combat piracy in the region, they said, adding that this is the first time HACGAM meeting is being held in South Asian Region (SAR).
The process of cooperation among the Asian coast guard agencies was first initiated by Japan consequent to the capture of pirated vessel MV Alondra Rainbow by the Indian Navy and ICG in November 1999, said the officials.
The two-day Working Level Meeting (WLM) for the eighth round of HACGAM also concluded here today. The last meeting was held at Hanoi, Vietnam in October 2011.
The member countries in the HACGAM include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong.