Among the CPAP’s list of action
items for the United States is membership in the CGPCS.
Participants included representatives from Australia, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan,
Kenya, Republic of Korea, the
Netherlands, Oman, Russia, Saudi
Arabia, Somalia Transitional Federal Government, Spain, Turkey,
United Arab Emirates, the United
Kingdom, United States and Yemen,
as well as the African Union, the
European Union, NATO, the U.N.
Secretariat and the International
Maritime Organization (IMO).
The CGPCS also is extending
invitations to other nations and
NGOs affected by piracy in Somalia, including
Belgium, Norway, Sweden and the Arab League.
Owen Doherty, director of MARAD’s Office of Security,
said the U.S. plan, which called for the CGPCS within its
first line of action, is just one of the many different parts
of the global effort to repress and detain Somali pirates.
“There are two parallel things going on,” said
Doherty, referring to the January kickoff meeting of the
CGPCS. “You have the U.S. position in the overarching
action plan, and then you have U.N. Resolution 1851,
which has driven this international Contact Group.”
The CGPCS will periodically inform the U.N. Security
Council on the progress of its activities, with relevant
information being passed along to the U.N. secretary general for possible incorporation into reports to the council.
The Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov is seen underway from the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf while conducting operations in the Gulf of Aden
Feb. 9. Vella Gulf is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task
force conducting counterpiracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian
Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. Russia, India and China have sent naval forces to
the region to combat the proliferation of pirate attacks on merchant shipping.
Similar to CPAP’s guiding principles, the CGPCS
identified six focus areas:
■ Improving operational and information support to
■ Establishing a counterpiracy coordination mechanism.
■ Strengthening judicial frameworks for arrest, prosecution and detention of pirates.
■ Strengthening commercial shipping self-awareness
and other capabilities.
■ Pursuing improved diplomatic and public information efforts.
■ Tracking financial flows related to piracy.
At the New York meeting, CGPCS participants
established four working groups to address the focus
areas. The first group is handling activities related to
military coordination, and is being convened by the
United Kingdom with the support of the IMO.
Denmark is convening the second working group to
address judicial aspects of piracy, with the support of
the U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime.
The third working group, convened by the United
States and supported by the IMO, deals with strengthening shipping self-awareness and other capabilities,
and the fourth group, convened by representatives
from Egypt, will work to improve diplomatic and public information efforts on all aspects of piracy.
Doherty also cited a key development in recent
months with Kenya, noting its agreement with the
European Union for prosecuting detained Somali pirates.
“That is a big step forward,” he said, “but there is more
to be done in that area dealing with prosecution and that
whole judicial piece that is being led by Denmark.”
The CGPCS by March will have held its second
meeting to review the progress of its working groups
and consider the addition of new members. ■