Australian global maritime capacity building
Oceans affairs are rightly a central part of our broader political and strategic relations in the regions in which our neighbours have extensive maritime interests, including exclusive economic zones. They also have an urgent need to build their capacity to manage these areas. Australia's Oceans Policy, 1998.
Australia has a huge stake in global maritime capacity building. This is by virtue of its stewardship of a very large maritime domain; its great dependence on shipping and seaborne trade; and high national awareness of the importance of a clean marine environment. Australia's interest in global maritime capacity building is evident in the high profile Australia takes in international forums, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and annual meetings of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, and regional forums such as maritime related meetings and working groups of APEC, the Pacific Islands Forum, the range of regional fisheries management organisations, and the Western Pacific Naval Symposium. Australia also gives extensive assistance to regional countries in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia to assist in building their capacity for maritime security and managing their maritime affairs.
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