The United States will join partners from nearly 80 countries, international organizations, and the private sector at the United Nations in New York on December 11 for a plenary meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
The plenary, hosted by India, will be the thirteenth gathering of this innovative diplomatic forum. 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 an unprecedented international naval effort from more than 30 countries working together to protect transiting vessels.
• 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 the increasing use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel are among these measures, which continue to be the most effective deterrents against pirate attacks.
• Strengthened the capacity of Somalia and other countries in the region to counter piracy, in particular by contributing to the UN Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia; and,
• Advanced a new initiative aimed at disrupting the pirates’ financial and logistical networks ashore through approaches similar to those used to target other types of organized transnational criminal networks.
To learn more about U.S. support for international efforts against piracy, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/ppa/piracy/index.htm
Also visit www.thecgpcs.org, The Contact Group website.