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Black Sea Littoral States Border/Coast Guard Agencies Cooperation Forum (BSCF)

Black Sea Littoral States Border/Coast Guard Agencies Cooperation Forum (BSCF) began with the initiative and under the leadership of Turkey in 2000 with the participation of Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russian Federation and Ukraine.

BSCF was established following the agreement signed in the framework of the decision taken during the 7th Meeting of the Leaders of the Black Sea Littoral States Border/Coast Guard Agencies held in Istanbul on November 07–09, 2006.

The fundamental tasks of BSCF are;

 • The promotion of peace and stability in the region on the basis of trust and security among Black Sea Littoral States,

• The enhancement of existing interaction among Border/Coast Guard agencies in order to prevent the smuggling of drugs, psychotropic substances, their analogs and precursors, ammunition, explosive, poisonous, drastic, radioactive substances and petrol by sea, illegal migration and other kinds of illegal activities as well as strenghthening the safety and security of navigation in the Black Sea,

• The conducting of counterterorism and weapon of mass destruction nonproliferation activities,

• The establishment of cooperation in the protection of Black sea natural resources and prevention of fishery rules violation,

• The establishment of cooperation in search and rescue activity,

• The prevention of marine pollution and the protection of marine environment,

• The establishment and improvement of communication channels for the purposes of exchanging information,

• The eloboration of personnel exchange programs with the aim of providing training on relevant issues,

• The promotion of scientific research activity on oceanoghraphic and hydrogrphic issues in the Black Sea.

Within the context of BSCF activities following Working Group Meetings are being conducted:

• Maritime Security and Safety of Navigation in the Black Sea” hosted by Turkey,

• “Development of Information Exchange and Analysis of the Operational Situation” hosted by Bulgaria,

• “Development of Common Preventive System for Early Detection of Illegal Activities” hosted by Romania and

• “Information Exchange via the Automated Information Exchange System (AIES) and Information Systems Development” hosted by Russia.

The 18th Leaders Meeting was held on December 05, 2017 in Constanta/Romania. In that meeting, the BSCF chairmanship was handed over from Bulgaria to Romania.

 

 Mediterranean Coast Guard Functions Forum (MCGFF)

 Mediterranean Coast Guard Functions Forum (MCGFF) was established to enhance cooperation among Mediterranean Littoral States Coast Guard agencies with the initiative of Italy and the first meeting was held in Genova/Italy in 2009. The follow-up meetings of the forum were held in France (2012), Spain (2013), Portugal (2014), Italy (2016) and Turkey (2017) respectively.

MCGFF is a non-binding, non-political and independent platform composed of 24 Mediterranean countries. The MCGFF bringing together the representatives of competent organizations and institutions engaging in coast guard activities in the Mediterranean primarily aims at developing potential partnerships and enhancing cooperation among member states in view of conducting activities on many fields ranging from maritime security and safety to environmental protection. The Forum also acts for seeking common solutions to the challenges that the member states might face.

The sixth Plenary Meeting of MCGFF was held in Antalya/TURKEY, on the dates of 12th – 13th October 2017 with the theme of “Best Coast Guard Practices in “Protection of Environment” in the Mediterranean” and hosted by Turkish Coast Guard Command. Albania, Italy, France, Greece, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia participated in the Plenary Meeting as member states while Germany any Pakistan took part as observers on behalf of European Coast Guard Functions Forum (ECGFF) and Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) respectively. The forum’s chairmanship was handed over to France Secretary General for the Sea in order to be carried out by France and Morocco as co-chairs.

 

 HACGAM (Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting)

 

 HACGAM (Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting) established in 2004 includes the following member states: Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Philippines, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Maldives, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

 HACGAM meetings are conducted in two levels as High Level Meeting-HLM and Working Level Meeting- WLM.

 Turkish Coast Guard Command participated in the HACGAM meeting hosted by Pakistan on 23-26 October 2017 as an observer status.

 Turkish Coast Guard Command whose membership process was initiated in 2016 was accessed unanimously to HACGAM by member states during the same meeting. The number of the member states of HACGAM conducting activities along with the Coast Guards Agencies of 20 Asian countries has risen up to 21 with the membership of Turkey.

 At HACGAM meetings, the following coast guard functions are discussed;

 - Search and Rescue at sea, - Marine Environment Protection,
- Preventing and Controlling Unlawful Act at Sea,
- Countermeasures against piracy and armed robbery,
- Capacity building,
- Exchange of information and experience on coast guards functions.

 By participating in the activities of HACGAM;

 *The existing cooperation areas will be broadened and the mission effectiveness will be further enhanced.
*Initiating cooperation on coast guard issues with different countries in Asia will help exploring new cooperation areas.
*Multinational activities on coast guard issues will be further developed.
*Turkish Coast Guard Command will become well-known in the Asia-Pacific Region. *The best practices will be observed through exchanging information and experience,
* The mission effectiveness will be further enhanced through cooperation with the countries in the region on many areas primarily like maritime security and safety as well as protection of marine environment and living/natural resources.

 In addition to the Turkish Coast Guard Command’s membership (as a founder) of Black Sea Littoral States Border/Coast Guard Agencies Cooperation Forum (BSCF) and its chairmanship of “Mediterranean Coast Guard Functions Forum (MCGFF)” handed over on 13 October 2017, Turkish Coast Guard Command currently has the opportunity to keep cooperation and exchange information and experience with Coast Guards and Maritime Security Agencies of 47 countries along with membership to HACGAM.

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