Office of the Spokesperson
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
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
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.