GCC boosts drive to unify naval operations

Updated 09 March 2015
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GCC boosts drive to unify naval operations

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has stepped up efforts to unify naval operations and to set up a joint maritime security force to respond to the increased threats of conflict in the regional waters.
“A joint GCC naval exercise will run until March 12,” said a GCC statement released here.
“The joint GCC naval exercise is a right step toward an ambitious goal to achieve unified naval command system, in case of emergency situations,” said the statement.
The joint naval exercise began in the UAE on Monday with the participation of naval forces of the six Gulf states. The exercise will help raise the level of GCC’s preparedness, combat efficiency and cooperation.
The aim of the exercise is to unify the naval operations of the GCC states and to exchange expertise to make the GCC navy a deterrent force in a region.
Saudi Arabia is participating in the GCC exercise with a number of naval units, boats, special naval security units and Super Puma aircraft.
A local GCC official contacted by Arab News on Saturday could not provide details on the plan of setting up a strong GCC naval force.
On maritime threats, a report published recently said that “threats to regional waters over the past year have extended from the Strait of Hormuz further south to the Bab Al-Mandal gateway in Yemen and north to the Red Sea.”
The report has quoted Maj. Gen. Ahmed Yousif Al-Mulla, a Kuwaiti defense official, as saying that “the new force is expected to be formed within coming months.”
The creation of a GCC force will complement international efforts in the field of maritime security, especially at a time when radical groups and militants have become very active in the waters. These groups are also backed by some nation states.
At a recent meeting between GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif Al-Zayani and Adm. John Miller, commander of US Naval Central Command, concerns were raised about the maritime security.
The meeting reviewed bilateral relations and military cooperation between the GCC states and the US in addition to the issues of common concern such as territorial and maritime security.
The GCC has already set up the Gulf Shield Force, which played a major role in controlling riots in Bahrain.
The six-member bloc has also decided to create a common GCC police force and a common counterterrorism body.


UN backs Saudi calls on justice, crime prevention

Abdullah bin Fakhri Al-Ansari. (Supplied)
Updated 3 min 31 sec ago
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UN backs Saudi calls on justice, crime prevention

  • KSA called on member states to review national legislation to exchange experiences and techniques to effectively combat cybercrime
  • Summit resolutions target terror, cybercrime, online child abuse

GENEVA: A UN commission on crime prevention has unanimously ratified resolutions by Saudi Arabia targeting terrorism, child exploitation and cybercrime.
The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice ratification came during its 28th session at the UN headquarters in Vienna.
The most important of the Kingdom’s four resolutions seeks to combat child sexual exploitation through the internet, provide technical assistance for the implementation of international conventions to fight terrorism, and strengthen technical assistance and international cooperation to combat cybercrime.
Through these resolutions, the Kingdom highlighted the need for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to help provide access to justice for victims of child sexual exploitation and abuse through the Internet according to national legislation.
Saudi Arabia called on member states to exchange experiences on raising awareness and reporting cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation and urged them to learn from the experiences of other states in fighting extremism, recruitment and incitement of individuals to carry out terrorist acts.
The Kingdom also called on member states to review national legislation to exchange experiences and techniques to effectively combat cybercrime.
Saudi Arabia emphasized the main topics to be discussed during the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, to be held in Kyoto, Japan, and the need to focus on strengthening confidence in the rule of law, international coordination and cooperation in criminal matters, and deepening public-private sector partnerships in crime prevention efforts.
Addressing the commission’s 28th session, Abdullah bin Fakhri Al-Ansari, an adviser to the Saudi Interior Ministry, said that terrorism poses a major threat to international peace and security, and undermines the fundamental values ​​of the UN.
Al-Ansari, who is also the ministry’s director general of legal affairs and international cooperation, called for coordination and cooperation between states and organizations at regional and international levels to fight terrorism, exchange best practices, and assist in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases.
Leading the Saudi delegation at the conference, he called for the provision of technical assistance in capacity-building, prevention, awareness-raising, international cooperation, data collection, research, and analysis to combat cybercrime.
Al-Ansari stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation around the world to track down perpetrators by criminalizing the possession, distribution, and production of child sexual abuse materials.
He highlighted the importance of capacity-building, the provision of services and support to victims of child abuse through the Internet, providing training and strengthening the technical capacity of law enforcement agencies, providing technical support for the development of effective policies and programs, and implementing awareness-raising and education campaigns to protect children from abuse.