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Contact Group on piracy holds 22nd plenary session in Mauritius

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Balaclava, Mauritius, June 20 (Infosplusgabon) - The 22nd plenary session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), an international governance mechanism established in response to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1918 (2010), took place Thursday in Balaclava, northern Mauritius, Infosplusgabon reported.


Mauritian Minister of Defence and Rodrigues, Sir Anerood Jugnauth said that the meeting provided the opportunity to evaluate the current situation with regards to piracy in the Indian Ocean, to draw up the work plan for the current year and to reflect on the future of the Contact Group.


“Maritime security in the Indian O cean is of utmost concern to Mauritius and the challenges of keeping the sea routes safe are multi-faceted which can only be addressed through a cooperation framework that involves international and regional actors”, he said. “We have to acknowledge that ten years after the existence of the Contact Group, piracy has been drastically reduced.”

The minister believed that the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), as the Secretariat for the CGPCS, must be strengthened so as to establish a mechanism that will better coordinate collective responses to maritime security and piracy as African Coastal States depend heavily on a secure maritime route for the bulk of their trade.

“Therefore, it is essential that African countries combine their efforts to put in place common policies for ocean governance and national structures to facilitate coordination between States”, he underlined.

The CGPCS was established in January 2009 in New York with the objective to facilitate the discussion and coordination of actions among states and organisations to suppress Somali piracy.

It meets in two formats, namely: an annual plenary session and working groups and as several related groups meetings, which focuse on specific themes related to piracy and maritime security issues at large.

While CGPCS Plenary session is held once a year, working groups and related groups organise several meetings every year where they provide the CGPCS Secretariat with useful information on the piracy situation off the coast of Somalia.

To date, more than 60 countries and international organisations have become part of this forum to work towards the prevention of piracy off the Somali coast.



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