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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Counter-Piracy Contact Group Confronts Maritime Crime in the Horn of Africa

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 5, 2012


The United States joined more than 60 nations and international organizations at the United Nations in New York on March 29, 2012, for a meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

In a communiqué following the meeting, the Contact Group called for a renewed international commitment to countering piracy, both at sea and on land in Somalia, through robust and integrated military, law enforcement, and development activities. Among their recommendations, the Contact Group:

  • Recognized steps taken toward the development of counter-piracy messaging guidelines and continued efforts to develop effective strategic communications, including the use of social media;
  • Placed a priority on prosecutions and imprisonment as a deterrent to piracy;
  • Reiterated the importance of bringing suspected pirates to trial, including high-level suspects, and detaining those convicted, in Somalia as well as other nations in the region;
  • Called on the international community, including the global maritime industry, to make continued efforts to facilitate more effective prosecutions of pirates; and
  • Attributed the low success rate of attacks to many factors, including the application of best management practices by the shipping industry, the continuing naval presence, and the use of military vessel protection detachments and privately contracted armed security personnel.

Full text of the Contact Group’s communiqué is available on the Department of State Web site at:

To learn more about U.S. support for international efforts against piracy, visit and

PRN: 2012/517

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