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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Maritime Counter Piracy Conference

 Coming to the UAE in Dubai a Maritime Counter Piracy Conference (18-19 April 2011) titled: "Global Challenge, Regional Responses: Forging a Common Approach to Maritime Piracy."

Features a raft of anti-piracy papers including one ("Defensive vs. Offensive Technologies and Public/Private Operations in Maritime Piracy") by Claude Berube, who teaches at the U. S. Naval Academy, a couple by Martin N. Murphy ("Future Scenarios and Future Threats: What Happens if Piracy is not Controlled, and How Might Manifestations Change?" and "Countering Piracy: The Potential of Onshore Development" with Joseph Saba) and one by the U. S. Naval War College's James Kraska ("Looking for Law in all the Wrong Places: Maritime Piracy as a Domestic Legal Problem"). All of which will keep me reading for some time, since I am unable to attend this event in person, as much as I wish I could.

The guest list is full of smart people and I look forward to reading their thoughts on this troublesome international war against pirates.

1 comment:

  1. Forget about the UAE anti-piracy conference; the UNSC has the problem solved:

    "United News of India
    New Delhi, April 10, 2011

    Acknowledging India's demand for more teeth to the fight against piracy, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will tomorrow vote on a resolution that provides a legal framework under which Somalian pirates could be tried in neighbouring Seychelles.

    The resolution proposes that all UN member countries extend full cooperation in fighting piracy by framing laws and taking responsibility for securing release of hostages, according to officials.

    It will also make it obligatory for all countries to share information regarding pirates, their activities and movements, their financers and backers, and their port of strength and strike range.

    While emphasising the need to ensure "effective coordination" of anti-piracy efforts and measures, the resolution provides for investigation and prosecution of those illicitly financing, planning, organising or unlawfully profiting from pirate attacks.

    The resolution also envisages that international investigating agencies like Interpol could be roped in to work with Somalia, and any other country if need be to bring to justice not just the perpetrators but those backing them as well.

    It would also be incumbent upon the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to adopt elaborate counter-piracy laws, besides setting up additional prisons to house the captured pirates.

    As per the resolution, now the onus of getting the hostages released will be on the country to which the hijacked ship belongs, which could even resort to use of force to get its citizens released.

    Until now, the burden of getting hostages released was on the shipping company.

    The resolution comes after a series of raids by pirates in recent years have gone bolder and unchallenged due to flimsy or weak laws to handle them, which has left several ships hijacked and saddled for months and people of various nationalities caught under inhuman conditions for ransom.

    With India taking a proactive approach in this direction due to its maritime interests falling in the same region from where a major chunk of international sea trade goods pass, countries have agreed to converge on a broad point of agreement on which the issue could be handled "as of now", said sources.

    Besides, despite its Navy manning sea lanes in the Indian Ocean for more than two years, the number of incidents of piracy has not declined.

    Now this resolution will at least make sure that one of the major hurdles in tackling the menace is obliterated, said sources, adding that with it arrested pirates could now be tried in dedicated courts in Seychelles (its closeby areas like Somalia are most infested), with participation by foreign personnel.

    While India has been the chief protagonist in persuading UNSC members to back it, the resolution was actually initiated by Russia."

    Best regards,


    Jack Lang,
    UNSG Special Advisor - Anti-Piracy
    UN HQ
    (212) 555-1212