Facilitating maritime security cooperation in the Asia Pacific

This study group is no longer active.


 Aus CSCAP, CSCAP India and CSCAP Indonesia


The CSCAP study group on Capacity Building for Maritime Security Cooperation at its final meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 27-28 May 2006 discussed priority areas for further work on maritime issues by CSCAP. 

The number of "maritime security forces" in the region is multiplying. At a national level, these forces might comprise a navy and separate para-military forces, such as marine police or a coast guard, to undertake policing tasks related to law and order at sea, as well as other tasks, such as search and rescue (SAR) and marine environmental protection. Each country will organise its maritime security forces to meet its own constitutional, cultural and political circumstances. Some countries do not have a coast guard and rely entirely on the navy to undertake policing at sea, while others make a clear distinction between the roles and tasks of naval defence and those of civil policing at sea.

A number of trends are apparent with the roles of maritime security forces. First, many regional navies have moved into the high technology era and are more focused on military roles and tasks rather than policing at sea. Secondly, policing at sea is becoming more complex with the development of new security regimes. Thirdly, the levels of illegally activity at sea are increasing. Lastly, some countries are developing their coast guards or establishing such a force where previously they had not had one.

Specific agenda

This study group addressed the trends listed above and discussed how greater levels of cooperation might be achieved between regional maritime forces. The study group also considered what contribution maritime security forces might make to disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, what contribution these forces might make to the security and safety of shipping and seaborne trade, and how to best facilitate bilateral/multilateral interfaces and full cooperation between maritime security forces.


The outcomes of this study group was:


This study group has held two meetings. The first meeting was held in Wellington, New Zealand 15 -16 Dec 2006 hosted by CSCAP New Zealand on the main topic of the Roles of Maritime Security Forces and the second meeting was not held until April 2008. Although there was no meeting of this particular study group for nearly eighteen months, CSCAP momentum on regional maritime security was maintained by a special Study Group on Safety and Security in the Malacca and Singapore Straits that met in Jakarta in September 2007.

2nd Meeting: 2-3 April 2008, Seoul, South Korea.
Download the summary report.

1st Meeting: 15-16 December 2006, Wellington, New Zealand.
Download the summary report.