Danish Government Supports Launch of Code of Practice for Women in Maritime Security by KAIPTC and SEPCIM AEM

(4th July, 2024) Accra, Ghana: With the generous support of the Danish Government, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in collaboration with the Permanent Secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Committee of the State Action at Sea – Le Secrétariat Permanent du Comité Interministériel de l’Action de l’État en Mer (SEPCIM AEM), launched the Code of Practice for Women in the Maritime Security Domain.

The one-day event, held at the Palm Club Hotel in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, introduced maritime stakeholders to measures aimed at enhancing women’s participation in maritime security within the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain.

During her welcome remarks, Colonel Ake José-Nicole, representing the Director of SEPCIM, stated that the Maritime Code of Practice was a welcome and timely document to advance the cause of women in maritime security.

Professor Kwesi Aning from KAIPTC also emphasized that the Maritime Code of Practice sought to promote the welfare and advancement of women within the framework of UNSC Resolution 1325. He noted that the contribution of women in maritime security was not consistently mirrored in policy implementation, as the WPS agenda lacked direct reference to maritime security.

“Currently, no national, regional, or continental policies have been developed to guide the actions of maritime security stakeholders, especially regarding issues specific to women’s participation, representation, protection, and wellbeing in the maritime domain.” Prof. Aning said.

It was, therefore, the expectation of the KAIPTC that maritime stakeholders in Cote d’Ivoire would adopt the Maritime Code of Practice as a guide to strengthen their efforts at improving the welfare of women in maritime security.

Two discussants, Hortense and Patricia, reviewed the Maritime Code of Practice, emphasizing that a bottom-up approach was critical in ensuring the voices and experiences of women were harnessed across the maritime domain spectrum.

The event was attended by 40 maritime actors from a cross-section of agencies such as the West Africa Regional Maritime Security Centre (CRESMAO), the Navy, Customs, Maritime Affairs, Fisheries, Association of Local Fishmongers and Fishermen, National Police, Marine Environment Anti-Pollution Agency, and Women’s Groups.

The launch was preceded by visits to key maritime institutions to introduce the Maritime Code of Practice, providing stakeholders with new insights into women’s issues in the maritime security sector. Feedback from these consultative visits highlighted the need for further training for focal persons designated to promote the Maritime Code of Practice.

There was also a call for more training in general for various actors in the maritime security field to enhance their capacity to implement the Code of Practice.