Mr George Georgiou
Ministry of Defence, Republic of Cyprus
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Hosts,
It is a pleasure to be here today and to have the opportunity to address such a distinguished audience. I wish
to congratulate the organizers of this event which is now operating as a meeting point every two years, where
important current issues related to sea security - Security of Energy Sources, Security of Coastal Facilities and
Maritime Security are presented and discussed.
The Blue Economy issue, identified very closely with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal No. 14, to
Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Maritime Resources, is a multidimensional issue involving
numerous economic sectors like Fisheries, Maritime Transport, Tourism and Coastal Development, Energy and
the Exploitation of Alternative Energy Sources (including Hydrocarbons Exploration).
The economic significance of these sectors, particularly for islands like Cyprus, cannot be emphasized enough.
To realize, however, their full potential and to ensure their endurance over time the underlying resources have
to be approached in a sustainable way and at the same time be adequately protected.
Today’s Conference, “Enhancing the Protection of the Blue Economy”, brings together stakeholders from
governments, international organizations, defense and security industry, offshore oil/gas and maritime &
fisheries companies, enforcement agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders in an effort to address the security
and safety issues and crisis management proposals related to the development of Blue Economy, with
reference to our part of the world.
The continuously evolving operational environment, the emergence of new asymmetric threats, as well as the
need to effectively counter any crisis situation, demand the existence of a reliable and efficient cooperation
network involving all these actors.
Today, the Eastern Mediterranean Region is being confronted with a novel challenge. With the findings of
natural gas reserves, Cyprus, the countries of our region and our bigger European family are faced with the
challenge of managing these new resources and of formulating our policy and strategy accordingly.