Groundbreaking ceremony for the new building of MRCC completed

Updated: 23-06-2022, 22:05

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center’s (MRCC) new building was completed today. This ceremony was held at the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center located in Villimale’, and was honored by the Minister of Defence Uz. Mariya Ahmed Didi.

            This project, which is being funded by the Japanese Government, is being undertaken through the cooperation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and has the aim of further enhancing and strengthening the Search and Rescue capabilities in the Maldives. Once this project is complete, the completed building will have various accommodations such as operations rooms, training facilities, and an auditorium. The building is being designed to contain facilities that will allow the Coast Guard to host programs tailored towards Search and Rescue training as well as other Maritime Law Enforcement trainings.

            During her speech, the Minister of Defence Uz. Mariya Ahmed Didi remarked that the Maldives is a country beset by a number of Maritime criminal activities such as IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated) Fishing, Piracy, Human Trafficking and Narcotic Smuggling. In addition, she also mentioned that the Maldives is at great risk of environmental disasters such as oil spills, and highlighted the importance for countries dependent on their Maritime Economy such as the Maldives to have a viable Maritime Emergency Response. She pointed out that the new building at MRCC will serve as an important step in further developing our Maritime forces. As she continued her speech, she thanked the Japanese Government and its people for their numerous donations, and mentioned that Japan has always been a very friendly country to the Maldives, and one that has greatly aided us in combating our Maritime related problems.

            The Commandant of the MNDF Coast Guard Colonel Ibrahim Hilmy also spoke at this ceremony, and went over some of the MRCC’s international obligations as well as some of its history. He mentioned how it was originally established as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems Center in 2003 before it was reworked as the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in 2012. He also happily remarked that the new building at MRCC will allow for further development, and provide opportunity for further training programs with UNODC in the future.

            Prior to this event, the “exchange of notes” agreement was signed during a special ceremony held at MRCC on the 21st of February 2021, with the aim of strengthening the capacities of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center.

            In addition to the Minister of Defence, today’s Groundbreaking ceremony was attended by the Japanese Ambassador to the Maldives H.E Takeuchi Midori, the Global Maritime Crime Program’s UNODC Pernille Wohl Rasmussen, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador-at-large Mr. Ahmed Saleem, the Vice Chief of Defence Force Brigadier General Abdul Raheem Abdul Latheef, General officers of the Maldives National Defence Force, Commandant of the MNDF Coast Guard Colonel Ibrahim Hilmy, as well as other senior officers of MNDF.