Monday, January 23, 2012

UN Secretary General Supports IMO Initiative For Closer Counter Piracy Cooperation

More political clout gathers over sea-wolves, but will it achieve anything?
Shipping News Feature

NEW YORK – The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu met UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, 20 January 2012, at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss matters related to the IMO’s work and cooperation between the UN and the IMO to combat Somalia-based piracy.

The meeting followed the endorsement of the IMO’s work in this area in a recent report in which the UN Secretary-General encouraged UN Member States and multinational organizations to consider how they could contribute further to address the root causes of piracy, including through developing land-based initiatives to strengthen Somali and regional maritime and law enforcement capacity.

Mr. Ban agreed with the view of Mr. Sekimizu that capacity building in Somalia and neighbouring countries should be enhanced through cooperation between IMO and the UN, UN specialized agencies and other relevant international organizations.

Mr. Sekimizu further informed Mr. Ban about plans to organize a counter-piracy capacity-building Conference on 15 May at the IMO’s London Headquarters, as well as a high-level policy debate on arms on board to take place on the first day of the 90th session of the Maritime Safety Committee on 16 May. Mr. Sekimizu has pushed for a high-level participation to these events from the UN.

Though the UN’s concern over piracy around the Horn of Africa is welcome to shipping lines it remains to be seen if cogent and unified action can be decided and acted upon by the International Community, which at the moment seems committed to talking about the issue in a round of discussions.

(pic: Secretary-Generals Koji Sekimizu (Left) and Ban Ki-moon)