IMO convenes Piracy think tank


An IMO working group charged with looking at ways to coordinate and share information over piracy attacks as well as establish a regional capability to help navies protect international shipping from acts of piracy and armed robbery in the waters off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden has been convened by IMO Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos.

Set up by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) – itself established in January 2009 following the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 1851 on 16 December 2008 – the Working Group has been convened and coordinated by the UK. It is being chaired by Chris Holtby from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Working Group is meeting at IMO Headquarters in London (24 to 25 February 2009) and will be followed by the first meeting of another CGPCS Working Group (26 to 27 February 2009), convened and coordinated by the US, which will address the strengthening of shipping’s self-awareness and other capabilities. It will be chaired by Jeff Lantz of the US Coast Guard.

Both Working Groups will report to the second session of the CGPCS, which is scheduled to be held in Egypt next month.