New York, US (PANA) - A plenary meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia was due to hold in New York Wednesday (25July), as part of a growing diplomatic effort to stop criminal activity that threatens commerce and humanitarian aid deliveries along one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors.
About 70 countries, international organisations, and the private sector will attend the meeting at the UN headquarters.
The plenary, hosted by Spain, will be the 12th gathering of the 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.
According to information provided by the US State Department, the Group is credited with facilitating 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 Contact Group has also partnered with the shipping industry to improve practical steps merchant ships and crews can take to avoid, deter, delay, and counter pirate attacks, and 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.
The Group has also 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 organised transnational criminal networks.
-0- PANA SEG 25July2012