The United States will join partners from nearly 70 countries, international organizations, and the private sector at the United Nations in New York July 14, for a plenary meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. The Contact Group is a growing diplomatic effort that is taking action against criminal activity that threatens commerce and humanitarian aid deliveries along one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors.
The plenary, hosted by Singapore, will be the ninth gathering of this important international partnership. Since its initial meeting in January 2009, the Contact Group has nearly tripled in size − a testament to the global consensus on the shared security challenged posed by piracy, and on the need for further concerted and coordinated international action. Among its accomplishments, the Contact Group has:
Facilitated the operational coordination of an unprecedented international naval effort from more than 30 countries working together to protect transiting vessels. The United States coordinates with NATO and the European Union in these efforts, and also looks to further develop counter-piracy cooperation with countries such as China, India, and Russia.
Partnered with the shipping industry to improve practical steps merchant ships and crews can take to avoid, deter, delay, and counter pirate attacks. The shipping industry’s use of Best Management Practices and other counter-piracy guidance has proven to be the most effective deterrents against pirate attacks.
Strengthened the capacity of Somalia and other countries in the region to combat piracy, in particular by contributing to the UN Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia; and
Launched a new initiative aimed at disrupting the pirate enterprise ashore, including its associated financial networks, through approaches similar to those used to target other types of organized transnational crime networks.
To learn more about U.S. support for international efforts against piracy, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/ppa/piracy/index.htm .