Coast Guard Commandant’s Statement Concerning the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum in Russia

WASHINGTON – Adm. Thad W. Allen, commandant of the Coast Guard, issued the following statement today following his participation in the 8th North Pacific Coast Guard Forum:

“I enjoyed joining with leaders of civil maritime agencies from Canada, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia for the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum this week in St. Petersburg, Russia. The North Pacific Coast Guard Forum provides a great opportunity to foster multilateral cooperation by sharing information and expertise on matters related to combined maritime operations, illegal drug trafficking, maritime security, fisheries enforcement, and illegal migration. As a multi-mission maritime agency, the U.S. Coast Guard is uniquely positioned to engage our maritime partners in these areas of common concern. We are building on the successes of past forums as we work to improve mutually beneficial cooperation and coordination that will enhance maritime safety, security and environmental protection throughout the North Pacific. Our chief goal in St. Petersburg has been to exchange information necessary to improve the security and safety of vessels at sea and coastal nations in the region. We have worked to identify ways to expand day-to-day cooperation between our agencies in operations supporting fisheries management, environmental protection, search and rescue, and maritime security.

“The NPCGF reached a milestone in 2005 when vessels from the U.S. Coast Guard, China, Russia and Japan conducted combined operations at sea. This year’s forum will build on that success and address a broad range of maritime issues. Drawing on the success of the NPCGF, civil maritime agencies for nations of the North Atlantic will meet in Sweden in October 2007 to inaugurate the North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum.”

The first forum was held in Tokyo in 2000 and has followed an alternating semi-annual cycle of technical experts and principals meetings since then. Between 2000 and 2006, meetings were sponsored by Japan, Russia, the United States, South Korea, Canada, and China. The 2007 cycle was sponsored by Russia with the experts meeting taking place in Khabarovsk, Russia in March, and the summit in St. Petersburg Sept. 2-6.

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