Sunday, September 19, 2010

Attacks On Piracy Build As UN Backs Shipping Groups

Unanimity Throughout the Industry
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – The United Nations is the latest, and greatest, power to express its concern over the spate of pirate attacks, maritime robberies and kidnappings which have become so prevalent of late. Last week saw attacks on shipping at the Port of Douala in Cameroon in which a Croatian and a Filipino crewman were kidnapped. It now appears that four Ukrainian seamen were also abducted by the same gang from a neighbouring cargo vessel.

Now no less a personage than United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has expressed his outrage and concern at the escalating situation. In a letter to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Mr Ban underlined the need to reinforce the collective response at sea, on land, and in judicial systems around the world, and to provide effective and sustainable solutions to the governance, security and humanitarian difficulties faced by countries like Somalia.

The Secretary-General goes on to say that he will ensure the Security Council are made aware of the unacceptable plight of hostages currently being held by pirates and summon support from the Council to develop an approach that might obtain their release and that the United Nations, in partnership with the broad range of concerned international institutions and organizations, including the IMO, would spare no effort to address the challenges resulting from piracy.

Mr Ban also welcomed the theme chosen by the IMO Council for World Maritime Day 2011, “Piracy: orchestrating the response” which we outlined in June. Regular readers will know of the campaign launched in May to ensure governments worldwide react to this growing threat and Mr Ban is obviously in touch with the situation having launched the 2010 IMO shipping conference personally.

Anyone who wishes to register their own anti piracy views can still do so by signing the anti piracy petition, launched by a host of shipping related organisations, HERE.