Global coalition aligns around red sea maritime security

The signatories – representing a range of critical industries such as food and agricultural products, retail, energy, clothing, shoes, electronics, and medicine – are urging governments to join, support, or align with the mission to support safe and secure maritime commerce in the Red Sea (which accounts for 30 percent of the world’s trade) and across the globe.

The open letter from the Joint Global Trade Association urging maritime security reads as follows:

As representatives of organizations whose members depend on safe and secure ocean shipping routes, we urgently call on countries to join, support, or align with the mission to support safe and secure maritime commerce in the Red Sea – such as that of Operation Prosperity Guardian, a multinational security initiative with at least 23 participating countries to date. Alignment around such efforts ensures that the world’s governments can work together to defend maritime security in the Red Sea and across the globe.

Maritime safety and security are vital for our industries and the global economy. Governments must unite behind a zero-tolerance approach to deter attacks on commercial vessels and seafarers in the Red Sea and anywhere in the world. The prosperity of millions of people employed in our industries and in the global maritime industry depends on safe and secure freedom of navigation.

The Red Sea is vital and moves 30 percent of the world’s trade, including critical items like food and agricultural products, energy, clothing, shoes, electronics, and medicine. Terrorist attacks in the Red Sea imperil the safety and security of crew and cargo, which is now forcing carriers to divert to other routes.

These attacks have already caused over $80 billion in cargo to be diverted around the Cape of Good Hope. Travelling around the Cape of Good Hope adds at least 2-3 weeks of travel and hundreds of thousands in additional fuel and labour costs compared to travelling through the Suez Canal. This alternative route becomes even more challenging during the Southern Hemisphere winter months.

The consequences of these attacks extend beyond immediate financial losses. Route changes are causing port congestion, equipment shortages, and soaring shipping rates across the globe, all of which create inflationary impacts. Even shipping lanes from the Red Sea on the other side of the world are beginning to be adversely affected. The ripple effects in cost and capacity issues for the industries that depend upon safe and secure maritime commerce are incalculable, particularly since global transportation is already strained from reduced access to the drought-ridden Panama Canal.

This global problem demands the participation and support of all nations that rely on global trade.

Countries that have not yet joined or aligned with this vital mission must do so immediately. Widespread participation and cooperation among nations are essential to signal the importance of free and fair treatment in international waters.

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