Based in Bangkok, the GMCP Pacific Ocean (PO) Team assists states in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region in building their maritime security capacity and capability to tackle maritime crimes. Given that maritime security challenges cannot be addressed by a single state alone, and given the proximity of states' maritime zones, strengthening inter-agency and inter-state collaboration is key to effectively responding to maritime threats in that region.
The PO Team has established a series of Maritime Law Enforcement Dialogues (MLED) for Southeast Asia which serves as a platform for cooperation between Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. At the MLEDs, maritime law enforcement actors of regional states, including legal advisors, have the opportunity to share current maritime trends and identify areas of concern and improvement through table-top scenarios. Notably, the MLEDs are particularly successful in overcoming language barriers by designing and developing practical tools. To bolster international and regional cooperation, UNODC also launched the Contact Group on Maritime Crime in the Sulu and Celebes Seas to enable coastal states, industry actors and interested international partners to better understand and develop responses to a variety of maritime crimes linked to insecurity in that area. UNODC also work with states to develop responses to other transnational maritime crimes such as drugs and precursor trafficking.
To enhance law enforcement capabilities, UNODC's GMCP offers Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) training programmes in Southeast Asia. While replicating the successful experience in the Indian Ocean, VBSS courses are specifically tailored to meet the specific needs of the region. Boarding procedures, evidence collection and human rights are all skills and knowledge developed jointly by law enforcement personnel of different countries through both theoretical and practical training that simulate real-life boarding at sea. Facing the challenge of governing extremely large maritime zones, the PO Team also works with Member States to enhance and leverage technology and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) to help target maritime law enforcement actions.
To support strong legal finishes of maritime crimes, the PO Team works with Member States to ensure legal frameworks are and agreements well-suited and up to date to support cooperative and effective interdictions and prosecutions. Processes are tested and practical training is provided through mock trials.