The United States joined over 80 countries, international organizations, and companies in Dubai on October 28 for the 17th Plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Todd C. Chapman led the U.S. delegation, which included representatives from the Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The plenary, chaired by the European Union and hosted by the United Arab Emirates, continued international efforts to safeguard commerce and humanitarian aid along one of the world‚Äôs busiest shipping corridors. Thanks in part to the work of the Contact Group, pirates have not successfully attacked a commercial vessel in this region in over two years.
The Contact Group has:
- Facilitated the coordination of countries and coalitions to protect transiting vessels, including the United States, China, India, Russia, NATO‚Äôs Operation OCEAN SHIELD, and the European Union‚Äôs Operation ATALANTA
- Partnered with industry to improve counter-piracy measures for merchant ships and crews
- Contributed to the UN Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
- Advanced law enforcement initiatives to disrupt pirate networks