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Ocean – when civilian vessels no longer need to carry armed guards. The UK Government has maintained

its commitment to influence and manage the international response and the UK Chamber keeps close operational ties to EU NAVFOR, both directly and through contact with the Merchant Navy Liaison Officers based at Royal Navy Fleet Headquarters in Northwood and in Dubai. The UK also hosted an International

Conference on Somalia in February 2012 – and will do so again in May this year. This conference led a task force to investigate the payment of ransoms. An Industry Advisory Panel was formed, and participating governments acknowledged the shipping industry’s position that the payment of ransoms should neither be criminalised nor otherwise prevented. The task force’s final recommendations contain no reference to ‘prevention’. It remains essential that industry retains the ability, in extreme circumstances, to pay ransoms to protect seafarers.

Future A structured and informed long-term commitment from the international community to ‘intelligent counter-piracy’ – both at sea and onshore – is now essential to maintain and build on the successes of last year. In conjunction with maritime security, tackling the symptoms and

Addressing the root

causes of piracy is an essential component of any lasting solution

addressing the root causes that underpin piracy is a vital component of any lasting solution. In Somalia, and other areas beyond the Indian Ocean – such as the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa, piracy is a continuing problem and has the potential to migrate. There have been very positive indicators

from Somalia in 2013 that we have reached a turning point – but complacency over the worldwide threat of piracy is not an option for either the shipping industry or the international community.

1 In 2012, European Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR) reported 36 attacks and five hijacked vessels during 2012, compared with 176 attacks and 25 vessels hijacked in 2011.


The shipping industry’s experience in responding to Somali piracy must also translate into lessons to strengthen shipboard resilience, and to accelerate military and other governmental responses to piracy in the

future by: l integrating Best Management Practices into standard company and shipboard management systems

l developing continuous shared awareness of piracy and other maritime security threats between military and civilian stakeholders

l establishing contingency arrangements for rapid governmental (including military) interventions to counter any emerging piracy threat

l ensuring adequate legislative and other frameworks are in place to deliver and support regional capacity building, especially jurisdictional measures.


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