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Report on Webinar Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea

This webinar looks into the UN Security Council Resolution 2634, and the ways in which the international community and NATO could better support Maritime Security in the region.

Africa, Transnational - Security & Conflict - Format: PDF - Size: 760.28 KB - Date: Mar, 2023 - Pages: 22 - Copyright: NATO Strategic Direction South HUB - Tags: Maritime Security , Cooperative security, Gulf of Guinea

On the 3rd of November, the NSD-S Hub hosted a two-panel discussion centred on interpreting and 

implementing the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2634 (the first Resolution on Gulf of Guinea maritime security in a decade). The event also aimed to determine whether NATO has a role to play in the reinforcement of the region’s maritime security. 

The online webinar involved some of the leading experts, policy -makers and practitioners on the subject – and was the continuation of a discussion hosted by the NSD-S Hub in February 2021


While piracy and armed robbery at sea may be at a 30-year low in the Gulf of Guinea, the conditions for the crimes have not been addressed, meaning that a resurgence remains possible, if not likely. 

The past year had also seen other significant security challenges, most notably Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ever-increasing globalization of insecurity, and the significant food price / availability crisis - few places on earth have a more active challenge with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing than the Gulf of Guinea. 

This confluence of issues and actors has led the NSD-S Hub to question whether NATO may have a useful role to play in addressing the maritime security challenges in the region.  The online event that followed, on the 3rd of November 2023, centred on the UN Security Council Resolution 2634, and explored what, if any, assistance NATO could provide in implementing it.

Research questions

  1. What does the UNSCR 2634 encompass? How does it differ from previous UN Security Coucil Resolutions pertaining to the Gulf of Guinea?

  2. What are the initiatives and strategies in place to enhance maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea? And what has yet to be done?

  3. Does NATO have a potential role in the reinforcement of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea? And if so, in which way could it support the region?

Key insights


  • According to the panel, five key conditions are required to rid the Gulf of Guinea of piracy and other maritime crime: legal, political, security, economic and social.
  • Although a number of external actors have become very involved in the region, their strategies and motivations remain unclear.
  • Internal challenges are complicating the context at the local, national and regional levels.
  • The Gulf of Guinea is critical to global energy supply, which underscores the need of the region to find a means of cooperating with foreign actors in a manner that supports their security without undermining their sovereignty.
  • There is a potential role for NATO but it should not act unless requested to do so by the states and institutions of the Gulf of Guinea.
  • NATO’s lessons learnt from being a multinational force, as well as its experience in the Gulf of Aden, were of particular interest to the panel.

Key recommendations

  • Support the region by sharing NATO’s experience as a multinational force, particularly as it establishes more operational elements within the Yaoundé Architecture.
  • Support the region by sharing NATO’s experience in counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
  • Assist the region in establishing tools to confront challenges of interoperability, operating procedures, information sharing, and linguistic barriers.
  • Assist the region in strengthening its institutions, as well as bringing together Heads of State to revisit the Yaoundé Architecture, and steer the course for the years ahead.
  • Providing a means to bring different stakeholders together (government, military, industry, civil society, academics etc…) in an open dialogue on how to address maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. 

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