With a Little Help from My Friends: Maritime Capacity-building Measures in the Straits of Malacca
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 31, Number 3, December 2009
- pp. 424-446
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The Straits of Malacca, one of the busiest and most important strategic waterways in the world, faces a plethora of threats arising from its heavy use, including the increasing risk of accidents at sea and environmental degradation. As such, it is imperative that steps are taken to assist the littoral states, some of which are developing nations with limited resources, to enhance their capacity to ensure navigational safety and environmental protection in the Straits. To this end, a slew of maritime capacity-building measures have been introduced to improve the management of the Straits. This article discusses these efforts and argues that growing cooperation in the Straits among the littoral states and between them and the international community augurs well for the proliferation of more capacity-building measures. The article cautions, however, that any such efforts made in the name of international cooperation should not compromise the sovereign rights and sovereignty of the littoral states and should be done in accordance with international law and principles.