May 12, 2004
Panama signs ship boarding pact
Panama today signed a ship-boarding agreement that supports the efforts of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) to stop the trade in deadly weapons and materials.
"More ships sail under the Panamanian flag than that of any other nation," said a White House statement issued today. "This agreement sends a strong signal to proliferators that the free nations of the world are determined to protect their people and preserve the peace."
Together, Panama and Liberia account for roughly 30 percent of the world's commercial shipping tonnage.
"We welcome this historic decision by the Government of Panama. And we urge other nations with large commercial shipping registries to follow the lead of Panama and Liberia to make a stand against proliferation," said the White House statement.