The United States will join partners from over 85 countries, international organizations, and the private sector at the United Nations in New York on May 1 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. On May 2, the Contact Group will hold a symposium, “Creating Economic Opportunities for Somalis,” at the Institute for International Education.
The plenary, chaired by the United States, will be the fourteenth gathering of this outstanding international partnership. Since its initial meeting in January 2009, the Contact Group has nearly tripled in size while successful pirate attacks have declined by 75 percent. This demonstrates the clear global consensus that has emerged against piracy, as well as the recognition that concerted coordinated international action was needed in response. 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 Combined Maritime Forces, NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, the European Union’s Operation ATALANTA, and independent deployers such as China, India, Japan, 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 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 new initiatives aimed at disrupting the pirates’ networks ashore through law enforcement 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 and www.thecgpcs.org.