The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia was created on January 14, 2009 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851. This voluntary, ad hoc international forum brings together over 80 countries, organizations, and industry groups with a shared interest in combating piracy. Chaired by the United States in 2013, the Contact Group continues to coordinate political, military, industry, and non-governmental efforts to bring an end to piracy off the coast of Somalia and to ensure that pirates are brought to justice.
Through its five thematic working groups, the Contact Group draws on international expertise and adopts a problem-solving approach towards addressing piracy, working closely with Somali authorities and regional administrations. Working Group 1, chaired by the United Kingdom, focuses on military and operational coordination, information sharing, and capacity building; Working Group 2, chaired by Denmark, addresses legal and judicial issues; Working Group 3, chaired by the Republic of Korea, works closely with the shipping industry to enhance awareness and build capabilities among seafarers transiting the region; Working Group 4, chaired by Egypt, aims at raising public awareness of the dangers of piracy; and Working Group 5, chaired by Italy, focuses on illicit financial flows associated with piracy as well as disrupting the pirate enterprise ashore.
This unique international partnership is contributing toward a significant decline in successful pirate attacks in the region. There has not been a single successful pirate attack in the region to date in 2013, and 2012 saw a nearly 75 percent decline in successful attacks over 2011.