The Djibouti Meeting adopted the Djibouti Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, which was signed on 29 January 2009 by the representatives of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen. It remains open for signature at IMO Headquarters by other countries in the region. Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates have since signed making the current total 20 countries from the 21 eligible to sign the Djibouti Code of Conduct.
The Code, which became effective from the date it was signed (29 January 2009), takes into account and promotes the implementation of those aspects of UN Security Council resolutions 1816 (2008), 1838 (2008), 1846 (2008) and 1851 (2008) and of UN General Assembly resolution 63/111, which fall within the competence of IMO.
In particular, the signatories to the Code have agreed to co-operate, in a manner consistent with international law, in:
(a) the investigation, arrest and prosecution of persons, who are reasonably suspected of having committed acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, including those inciting or intentionally facilitating such acts;
(b) the interdiction and seizure of suspect ships and property on board such ships;
(c) the rescue of ships, persons and property subject to piracy and armed robbery and the facilitation of proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subject to such acts, particularly those who have been subjected to violence; and
(d) the conduct of shared operations – both among signatory States and with navies from countries outside the region – such as nominating law enforcement or other authorized officials to embark on patrol ships or aircraft of another signatory.
In addition, the Code provides for sharing of related information, through a number of centres and national focal points using existing infrastructures and arrangements for ship to shore to ship communications (i.e. the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Mombasa, Kenya and the Rescue Coordination Sub-Centre in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania) and the regional maritime information centre, which is being established in Sana’a, Yemen.
The signatories also undertook to review their national legislation with a view to ensuring that there are laws in place to criminalize piracy and armed robbery against ships and to make adequate provision for the exercise of jurisdiction, conduct of investigations and prosecution of alleged offenders.
Technical co-operation and assistance (Resolutions 2 and 3)
In another resolution the Meeting requested States, IMO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC), the European Commission (EC), the Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Robbery Against Ships in Asia – Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP-ISC) and the maritime industry to provide assistance, either directly or through IMO, to those States, which require support in the effective implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct. It further recommended the establishment of a regional training centre for the purposes of promoting the implementation of the Code and accepted, with appreciation, the offer of the Government of Djibouti to host a regional training centre within the scope of the Code.