JEDDAH: Forty-five experts and speakers from 15 countries are taking part in the First International Symposium on Land and Maritime Border Security and Safety (challenges and solutions) in Jeddah.
The symposium will discuss several issues concerning the safety and security of sea ports and ground crossings, as well as the protection of vital facilities.
It was launched under the patronage of Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.
Dr. Mohammed Ali Koman, secretary-general of the Arab Interior Ministers Council, and Kiroja Michi Chini, representative of the secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), attended the opening ceremony.
Border Guards Director General Awad Al-Balawi said that the event aims to find solutions to combat cross-border crimes, such as drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings and all forms of transnational organized crime, strengthen national, regional and international cooperation, and review legislation, regulations and mechanisms that would prevent such crimes.
He also said that border security is of vital importance for improving national security and stability.
“Border security has faced hazardous challenges and threats caused by security and political crises in some countries, which contributed to an increase in the activities of terrorist organizations and organized transnational crime groups.”
Al-Balawi said: “Besides, maritime security threats have increased due to poor control of some seas and coasts, resulting in misusing them as transit areas to target countries.”
Al-Balawi said that improving maritime security is a key factor for maritime and international trade development and securing ports and shipping routes, which in turn ensures sustainable economic growth and food security.
“Hosting this important event, which is characterized by the participation of border and coastal security leaders and officials from 17 countries, is proof of Saudi Arabia’s important global role and evidence of its leading role in the region at political, economic and social levels,” he added.
The IMO official said that his organization had worked for more than 30 years on coordinating international efforts and collaborating with relevant bodies to improve performance at the national and regional levels.