19th Heads Of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting:
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) recently took part in the 19th Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) in Istanbul.
- The HACGAM is an annual event hosted by one of its member nations on a rotational basis.
- It was initiated by Japan to promote cooperation among regional coastguards.
- The forum has 23 member Coast Guard agencies and two associate members – the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
- It was launched after the capture of the pirated vessel MV Alondra Rainbow by the Indian Coast Guard in November 1999.
- The primary focus of the HACGAM is to foster cooperation between the coast guards of the member Asian states to ensure and promote safe, secure and clean seas in the region.
- To achieve this, HACGAM comprises four working groups that enable a focused and goal-oriented approach towards coordinated response and synergy towards common maritime issues.
- The Indian Coast Guard chairs the search and rescue (SAR) working group and is a proactive member of the other working groups, which include environmental protection, controlling unlawful acts at sea, and information sharing.
- In 2022, the 18th edition of the meeting was hosted by the ICG in New Delhi.