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Given the global system's reliance on maritime trade, the security of such trade remains a fundamental challenge for the international community. The Strait of Hormuz is a case study of such a challenge. The global economic importance of the Middle East region reinforces the position of the Strait of Hormuz as one of the most pivotal Sea Lines of Communication (SLoC) in the world. This one-day RUSI conference will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders, as well as those with a broader interest in the region, to debate the critical issue of security and the Strait of Hormuz.

RUSImotifMany countries in the region depend upon access to the sea for national prosperity and security. Many others depend on access to the Gulf because of the significant percentages of the world’s natural resources which originate from the region. However, with the Strait being only 30-40 nautical miles in width, what is effectively a maritime chokepoint is tightened further by the fact that international traffic transits the Strait via a pair of two-mile-wide shipping lanes located on the southern side.

Securing the Strait is a continually relevant, but also incredibly complex, issue. Significant actors have the potential to influence – and thus limit the use of, or even close – the Strait. Responsibilities of the international community to enable the peaceful use of the Strait are set against the national requirements of both regional states and those from elsewhere who rely on what sails through them.

RUSI is launching a research project which will look at the challenges to, and implications of, delivering security in the Strait of Hormuz. The project will be launched with a conference at RUSI on Friday 14th December 2007.

Conference

A range of speakers will examine the nature of potential threats to the security of the Strait and potential responses to such threats. The programme will: set the scene with geo-strategic, geo-physical and economic perspectives; assess potential military capabilities, threats and responses; examine potential courses of action for all parties, in the context of legal and Rules of Engagement restrictions; to draw out key points for discussion; and to attempt to prioritize risks and responses to security in the Strait.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. John Allen, National Oceanographic Centre, Southampton
  • Mark Hankey, Marketing Director, and Claire Wright, Consultant and Senior Analyst, Lloyd's Maritime Intelligence Unit 
  • Captain Andrew Cassels, BP Shipping Ltd.
  • Frank Gardner OBE, Security Correspondent, BBC
  • Commodore Bruce Williams OBE Royal Navy, Commander UK Maritime Force

RUSI is interested in securing speakers from other key stakeholders in this particular issue.  To discuss this further, please see the contact details below.

Sponsorship

Opportunities exist for stakeholders to sponsor the conference. Interested parties should contact RUSI to discuss options.

Report

The debates in the conference will feed into a report which RUSI intends to publish next year. Research and sponsorship opportunities exist for the report.

To discuss speaking opportunities, sponsorship or the conference report, please contact:

  • Paul Smyth, Head, Operational Studies Programme on +44 (0)20 7747 4951 or email pauls@rusi.org
  • Dr. Lee Willett, Head, Maritime Studies Programme on +44 (0)20 7747 2611 or email dr.leewillett@rusi.org

For all other enquiries regarding the conference, please email Rachel Bowden, Event Manager at rachelb@rusi.org.

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