Sri Lanka Coast Guard which functions under the Ministry of Defence, has successfully completed Asian Coast Guard Agencies Working Level Meeting (WLM) from 8th to 11th July 2019 at Hilton Hotel, Colombo and preparing for its apex event in the year; the High Level Meeting (HLM) of the 15th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) is scheduled to be held from 07th to 10th October 2019 in grand scale at Galle Face Hotel Colombo. The delegations attending at the HLM will be comprised with the Asian Coast Guard Chiefs and high profile officials from Asian Maritime Law Enforcement Agencies.
The HACGAM is conducted with the participation of its twenty two (22) member states; Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippine, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam, its associate member; ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) and three observer organisations; Bali Process, France and UNODC.
The HACGAM is a high-level multilateral meeting of Coast Guards and Maritime Law Enforcement Agencies to ensure the safe, secure and cleaner seas in Asian region through collaboration and partnerships. This regional forum was originated by the initiatives of Japan in 2004 with the aim of enhancing interoperability among regional stakeholders in combating common challenges threatening regional maritime domain in traditional and non-traditional formats.The HACGAM has four pillars that member agencies to make cooperative and proactive efforts to achieve desired organizational goals namely; Search and Rescue, Environmental Protection, Preventing and Controlling Unlawful Acts at sea, and Capacity Building by which it facilitate addressing broader spectrum of maritime issues while strengthening and developing own capabilities.
Maritime issues discussed at Working Level Meeting (WLM) held in last July will be tabled at High Level Meeting (HLM) before Chiefs of Coast Guards and Heads of Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Agencies for further discussion and deliberation in order to validate and come to collaborative decision which will finally be agreed upon to a ‘joint statement’.