UNODC workshop in Lomé reinforces the fight against maritime crime

As part of its Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP), UNODC organized a workshop in Lomé, Togo, on 6-9 July 2015. The workshop brought together twenty judges and prosecutors from West Africa, including the Chief Prosecutor of Lomé, and focused on improving legal reform and awareness in Benin and Togo. Among those present during the inauguration ceremony were the Minister of Justice of Togo representing the host country, the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court and the President of the Supreme Court of Togo.

During the four-day workshop, held at the University of Lomé's Legal Professions' Formation Center (" Centre de Formation des Professions Juridiques"), cases on piracy and maritime crime were presented to judges and prosecutors with the support of GMCP international experts, with the overarching goal being to strengthen capacity building for national training institutions. The Ocean Centurion case in particular was highlighted, as it is the first case where armed robbers operating in the Gulf of Guinea were successfully prosecuted and sentenced.


UNODC expert and workshop participants

This workshop set the ground for a coordination meeting which took place in Lomé on 28-30 July. During this meeting, governmental stakeholders representing the aforementioned countries presented their respective legal frameworks and reform projects on maritime crime. Links between jurisdictions were emphasized, in view of the 2013 Code of Yaoundé's recommendations.

UNODC's Global Maritime Crime Programme tackles piracy and maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea by promoting legal reforms, training judges and prosecutors, and supporting local governments in the development of a common legal strategy against maritime crime. Benin, Gabon, Nigeria and Togo are among the main partners of GMCP in the gulf of Guinea. The workshop in Lomé was made possible thanks to financial support from the US government.

Further information:

UNODC and Maritime Crime in West and Central Africa

2013 Yaounde Code of Conduct on Piracy and Illicit Maritime Activity

2016 UNODC Maritime Crime Programme Annual Report

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea