International experts and Government officials from Indian Ocean countries attend two-day meeting on submarine cables in Colombo.
From 25 to 26 March 2019, the Foundation participated in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) meeting on submarine cables in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The event was hosted by the Office of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and attended by Government officials from Indian Ocean rim States, as well as academics and UN officers.
The meeting was organised in response to a direct request from the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, HE Ranil Wickremesinghe, to address this issue. At the meeting, the Prime Minister addressed the participants, highlighting the need for increased emphasis and research on submarine cables, given their fundamental and growing importance in the global economy.
The two-day meeting aimed to address what could be included in a model National Resilience Plan on Submarine Cables. The participants engaged in discussion on a range of substantive areas, including, inter alia, existing gaps in the current international regulatory framework, especially in the context of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. They also considered practical and policy matters that should be addressed in a model National Resilience Plan, as well as different domestic legislative approaches to minimise or prevent the risk of damages to undersea cables.
Participants left the meeting with an outline for a draft model National Resilience Plan, which UNODC Experts finalised based on the content discussed at the meeting and circulated among all participants. This meeting will be followed by UNODC’s second Expert Meeting on Submarine Cables to be held in Colombo in June 2019.