Some 60 percent of German exports are handled via international shipping routes. In recent years, the number of incidents against ships in Asian waters has risen continuously, endangering the security of ships and their crews. This also threatens trade routes between Asia and Europe. Germany is seeking to play a more active role in combating and preventing piracy in this region of the world. The Federal Cabinet has therefore today cleared the way for Germany to accede to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
What is ReCAAP?
The Agreement was concluded in November 2006. Twenty countries are currently Contracting Parties, including European states such as Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, as well as the US. The Agreement aims to improve international cooperation to better combat piracy in Asia. A key element of this is the exchange of information on security-related attacks, which is significantly improved by ReCAAP. For example, an Information Sharing Centre has been established in Singapore, which registers all security-related incidents in the region and provides information on how these can be prevented.
A further step towards implementing the policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region
The cabinet decision for Germany to accede to ReCAAP is also a key step towards implementing the policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific region adopted by the Federal Government in September – the strategic guide for Germany’s foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific. The aim of the policy guidelines is to intensify relations in and with the region and place them on a broader footing. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is at the heart of these multilateral efforts. ASEAN is the most effective regional organisation in the Indo-Pacific and promotes peace, security and stability in Southeast Asia. Together with ASEAN, Germany is committed to an inclusive, multilateral world order in which international law applies, as opposed to the law of the strong.