The State Department announces the launch of the new official website for the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
The new website, operated by the Republic of Korea with support from the United States and United Kingdom, serves as a repository of Contact Group documents and other counter-piracy related materials; a cyber secretariat offering a virtual workspace for Contact Group participants; and a real-time information center for industry, academic researchers, and the general public regarding the Contact Group’s ongoing efforts.
The Contact Group, established in January 2009 pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1851, is a voluntary ad hoc international forum of more than 70 countries, organizations, and industry groups with a common interest in combating piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, and bringing pirates, as well as their financiers and facilitators, to justice. The Contact Group is the premier international forum for coordinating action against piracy, which is a transnational criminal enterprise that threatens commerce and humanitarian aid deliveries along one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors.
Among its accomplishments to date, the Contact Group has:
Facilitated the operational coordination of an unprecedented international naval effort from more than 30 countries working together to protect transiting vessels.
Partnered with the shipping industry to improve and promote Best Management Practices that merchant ships and crews can take to avoid, deter, delay, and counter pirate attacks.
Strengthened the capacity of Somalia and other countries in the region to combat piracy, in particular by contributing to the UN Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia; and
Launched a new initiative aimed at disrupting the pirate enterprise ashore, including its associated financial networks, through approaches similar to those used to address other types of organized transnational crime networks.
Source: StateGov, October 7, 2011.