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Experts from OSCE Black Sea and Caspian countries agree to co-operate to protect ports from terrorists

07 October 2006 [15:09] - TODAY.AZ
Keeping ports safe from terrorists and other threats was the theme of a workshop concluding today that brought together port security experts from 12 OSCE Black Sea and Caspian Sea countries.

Participants in the workshop, jointly organized by the OSCE and the International Labour Organization (ILO), agreed to intensify co-operation to maintain security.

"Until now, ports have been safeguarded from major terrorist attacks, due to the high level of security and national and international preventive measures," said Ambassador Frank Geerkens, Head of the Belgian OSCE Chairmanship Unit.

Port security requires international co-operation and respect for commonly agreed standards, Ambassador Geerkens, said, adding: "The OSCE has a role in coordinating, supporting and promoting activities and initiatives in the field of transport security."

The three-day workshop, a follow-up to the 14th OSCE Economic Forum which focused on secure transportation networks, was organized in close co-operation with the widely respected Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Center (APEC) and the Port of Antwerp.

The meeting aimed to raise awareness on the Code of Practice on Security in Ports, created by ILO and the International Maritime Organization. Participants discussed port security assessments and security plans called for by the Code and visited a container terminal and a veterinarian inspection site.

"Ports are workplaces of major economic and social importance. Therefore, the ILO has assigned special importance in the right of women and men working in ports to be able to work in a workplace which is free of security hazards," said Johanna Walgrave, an ILO Department Director.

ILO, the Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Center and the Port of Antwerp stand ready to continue co-operation with the OSCE and provide training to OSCE participating States. OSCE


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