Seychelles elected as co-chair of UN’s Contact Group on Piracy
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles, Japan and the UAE have been elected as co-chairs of Working Group 3 on Maritime Operations and Coordination of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), taking over from the Republic of Korea this week, together with $600 thousand pledged towards maritime law enforcement in the Seychelles islands.
As co-chair, Seychelles is expected to develop best management practices to protect vessels from piracy in the region and create mechanisms for vetting procedures for the recruitment of private armed guards for maritime companies.
According to a joint statement from the Seychelles Ministry of Home Affairs and Transport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 16th Plenary meeting of CGPCS and its Trust Fund board meeting were held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York between May 12 and 15, currently under the European Union’s chairmanship.
“The unanimous election to co-chair Working Group 3 demonstrates the faith that the international community has placed in Seychelles’ ability to secure the Indian Ocean and the vital role it has played in ensuring the end of impunity for Somalia based piracy,” reads the statement.
During the Trust Fund Board meeting a grant of $600 thousand was allocated for a project for development of maritime law enforcement capacity as well as analytical and investigative capacity via the setting up a Police Marine Investigation Unit.
The Seychelles delegation at the meeting, Ambassador Dick Esparon based in the UAE(left), Ambassador Marie Louise Potter(right), Seychelles Permanent Representative to the UN, Lt Col Michael Rosette, Deputy Chief of Staff- SPDF (centre) - (Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Photo license: Attribution
“We have been able to demonstrate a cohesive and focused approach in tackling the menace that piracy brought to the western Indian Ocean. States in the region and beyond were threatened by pirates, Seychelles will remember suffered, as her citizens were taken hostage. We as a country and a government did not shirk from our responsibilities, we stepped up and made our case and faced head on the pirate menace, ” the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan.
“This is an important occasion for Seychelles and is recognition of the hard work we have done in the field of maritime security and ending impunity for Somalia based pirates. Co-chairing working group three demonstrates the confidence that the international community has placed in Seychelles and more importantly in her capacity to influence the global security landscape regardless of her relative size. ..(.....) also an opportunity to make our voices heard and to shape the maritime security agenda for benefit of our people,” added Foreign Minister, Jean Paul Adam.
The CGPCS was set up in 2009 with the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 1851. Its members include countries that are affected by Somali piracy in the region, as well as those from Western Europe, Middle East and Asia. There are also maritime industry representatives, seafarer's organisations and NGOs which form part of the working groups.