The island of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, played host to the Executive Board meeting of MAOC-N, a critical event aimed at shaping the strategic direction of the Centre. This year, the gathering was organized by the host nation, Spain – in the context of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and it brought together the Centre’s partner countries, a representative of the European Commission and key stakeholders in the fight against maritime drug trafficking.
The primary objective at the heart of the Executive Board meeting is to chart the course for MAOC-N by defining its strategic direction. During the two days of the Executive Board, key decisions and discussions were held to ensure that the organization continues to play a pivotal role in combating drug trafficking by sea and air.
One of the highlights of the event was the conference that featured various agencies fighting international organized crime by sea and air. MAOC-N invited representatives from CARICOM-IMPACS, DEA, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), EUROPOL, INTERPOL, the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC/CIC), the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S), SEACOP, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
During these sessions, experts from 4 different continents shared their insights, experiences and recent work, fostering international collaboration to better combat maritime drug trafficking and related issues.
In the evening, there was a medal ceremony that recognized the outstanding contributions of individuals from various fields – including military personnel, law enforcement agents, analysts, and support officers – who have been instrumental in the fight against international drug trafficking.
A posthumous award was presented to the widow and son of a late officer from the Spanish Customs Surveillance Service (SVA/DAVA), who lost his life earlier in the year during a maritime operation in the Atlantic. A moment of silence was observed in his honour.
The MAOC-N Executive Board meeting concluded with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication to eradicating maritime drug trafficking. The commitment of the participating agencies and the recognition of those who go above and beyond their duties underscored the importance of international collaboration in the fulfillment of this goal.