The United States will join partners from nearly 70 countries, international organizations, and the private sector at the United Nations in New York on July 25 for a plenary meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, a growing diplomatic effort 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 Spain, will be the twelfth gathering of this outstanding international partnership. Since its initial meeting in January 2009, the Contact Group has nearly tripled in size − a testament to the global consensus that piracy poses a shared security challenge to maritime safety and to the need for further concerted and coordinated international action. Among its accomplishments to date, the Contact Group has:
· Facilitated coordination of international naval patrols through the operational coordination of an unprecedented international naval effort from more than 30 countries working together to protect transiting vessels. The United States coordinates in these efforts with other multilateral coalitions such as NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield and the European Union’s Operation ATALANTA. The United States also looks to further develop counter-piracy cooperation with several other nations deploying forces to the international counter-piracy effort, including China, India, Japan, and Russia.