The Maritime Security Cooperation Conference (MSCC 2009)

Post Event Synopsis - Day Two

Maritime Security Cooperation
“Enhancing Maritime Security through a Broader Cooperation”
Day 2 Summary - 26 May 2009

In the opening session of the second day, Riad Kahwaji, CEO of INEGMA, reviewed the first day of the conference emphasizing some of the key points delivered. These included the unique new stage of cooperation between the UAE and France as they move forward in areas including defense, security, environment, and energy.

The second day opened with the Third Plenary Session “Technology and Cooperation” with Professor Gilles Kepel, Chairman, Middle East Studies, Sciences-Po Paris, EuroGolf, France and Dr. Theodore Karasik, Director of Research and Analysis, INEGMA, as moderators.

Mr. Jean-Francois Tallec, Secretary General for the Sea, France explored “Key Factors for Successful Cooperation.” The speaker noted that technologies help advance manpower capability in multiple sectors as well as the need for broad cooperation in intelligence needs and processing. On the intelligence side and beyond, the exchange of information is the most sensitive and the most important. Tallec also noted that there are other models for cooperation across bodies of water and that France and the UAE and help each other achieve that goal in the Gulf. A model considered would be Baltic Sea cooperation. Cooperation between the UAE and France is the perfect marriage that can also promote the interdependency of industry and beyond.

HE Dr. Abdullah Toukan, an Advisor to the Jordanian Royal Court, Senior Fellow at CSIS, and a Non-Resident Scholar at INEGMA, looked at “Sea-Based Air Defense: Navy’s Role in Missile Defense Network.” Under this rubric Dr. Toukan drilled down on what an Israeli-Iranian confrontation would look like under several scenarios by examining numerous weapons systems and C3I applications to illustrate potential immediate consequences of a clash and the impact on maritime security.

A networking break then occurred.

The Second Round of Working Groups was entitled “The Need of Cooperation.” Five concurrent sessions featuring five moderators and 15 speakers covered the following topics: Maritime Intelligence (Surveillance and Information Exchange); New Technologies: Impact on Maritime Challenges – Industrial Implications, Joint Ventures and Civil Companies; Energy: Oil and Gas Geopolitical and Economical Challenges – GCC & Europe; Disaster Relief: Search & Rescue Operations & Role of Naval Assets in Aid Missions; The Role of Maritime and Security Organizations: Local, Regional, and International.

A networking break then occurred.

The Final Plenary Session “The Way Ahead” was moderated by INEGMA’s CEO Riad Kahwaji who summarized the overall themes for the two days to include the peaceful use and new chapter in the use of nuclear power; the placement of UAE diplomats in French Embassies where the UAE does not have representation; and the issue of global piracy as an epidemic. Within the conference discussions the universal view of the need to revamp outdated maritime laws regarding piracy was emphasized including the need for an international tribunal for pirates. Also in regards to threats there needs to be an effort to build joint intelligence capabilities to pre-empt threats, not just wait for them to emerge and have time to mature.

Both the Commanders of the French and UAE Navies spoke about improving International and Gulf maritime security cooperation.

Admiral Pierre-Francois Forissier asserted that all of the main threats including nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons as well as terrorism need coordination to guarantee the freedom of the sea. This effort needs to be parallel to international policy efforts to be unified. Still there are several areas where improvements need to be made that include the exchange and free flow of information amongst the Embassies and Ministries of the region. “Relations must break down this wall.” Calling this effort a necessary “synergy,” coordination also must include technical integration, new legal rules, and structural cooperation between the Navies and other arms of the armed forces of both countries.

Rear Admiral Mohammed Al Sabab Al Tenaiji argued that the GCC needs to work together against threats in order to maintain national security emphasizing that maritime cooperation is the key to balance in the region through multi and joint operations. Energy, WMD regional consciousness, and emergency planning need to be coordinated in order to neutralize threats, specially asymmetric threats. As a subsection to economics and security, human needs and safety must be paramount. In the past, Al Tenaiji, argued, there have been many sea-based legal initiatives including the UN Council Law of the Sea. There now needs to be a new diplomatic push that explores a new policy to enhance security and safety of navigation including more cooperation from Iran and Iraq in Gulf waters. This diplomatic push should seek local legislation that needs to be passed to address piracy, human trafficking, and overfishing.

INEGMA’s CEO Riad Kahwaji then closed the session by announcing the success of the conference and the hosts and sponsors delivered gifts of appreciation to the two French and UAE Naval Commanders.

A formal luncheon was held followed by a signing of the guestbook by the two Commanders of the French and UAE Navies for the opening of the French “Peace Camp.”