The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, global ports operator DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) have announced that they are co-convening the third international counter-piracy conference in Dubai on 11-12 September.
Their joint hosting of the conference demonstrates the vital importance of public and private sector coordination in the fight against maritime piracy both on and off shore.
More than 500 participants comprising foreign ministers, senior government officials,¬† executives of global maritime-sector companies, and leading experts will convene for the two-day event entitled: Countering Maritime Piracy: Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building, according to a joint press release by the organisors.
Building capacity in the region includes addressing piracy in the short term through effective security initiatives, including co-ordination between international navies and merchant vessels, and longer term initiatives that support the development of local economies.
The humanitarian impact of piracy on seafarers and their families continues to be a focus, and a highlight of this year‚Äôs conference will be a discussion with Captain Juwaid Saleem, a former captive of pirates in Somalia, and his family, who will share their experiences.
Captain Juwaid and his crew were held for more than two years and his two daughters featured in a documentary premiered at last year‚Äôs conference highlighting the humanitarian cost of piracy, when he was still a prisoner. He and seven of his crew were released six weeks after the 2012 conference; the remaining 15 crew members are still missing in Somalia.
Key themes of the conference will include:
-¬†¬†¬† Continuing to build awareness of the humanitarian and economic cost of piracy, including support for seafarers;
-¬†¬†¬† Injecting new momentum in the search for an effective and enduring solution to piracy through collaboration across political, military, financial and legal sectors;
-¬†¬†¬† Encouraging a comprehensive approach that can deliver a long term sustainable solution to counter piracy, including land-based solutions;
-¬†¬†¬† Highlighting cooperation between industry and government sectors through joint strategies emphasising sustainable long-term solutions
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, said: “While the international community has made great strides in fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia, the UAE believes that maritime piracy, notably in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, remains of serious global concern. We are convinced that successfully countering piracy can only be achieved if the international community enhances its efforts to build capacity in the region. With that in mind, we have chosen ‚ÄòCountering Maritime Piracy: Continued Efforts for Regional Capacity Building‚Äô as the theme for this year‚Äôs conference.‚Äù
Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Chairman ADPC, added, “Abu Dhabi Ports Company is pleased to continue to support the efforts of industry and governments around the world to counter maritime piracy at this event.
“While much has been achieved through the last two conferences and the number of incidents has dropped – the pirate groups still exist, the threat is still present and the devastating human consequences of pirate attack or armed robbery at sea still remains.
“We applaud the tactical and short term success achieved by industry and governments so far.¬† We welcome the next steps to develop a comprehensive long term strategy, which strengthens and supports the local communities and eradicates piracy on shore.¬† Counter piracy remains a top priority for the emirate as maritime security is an important factor in the economic growth of the GCC region.”
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: “I am delighted that DP World will again play a major role in continuing the dialogue on countering piracy. We all continue to be affected by the ramifications of piracy and it is vital that we keep the issue on the radar so that public and private sector remedies can be implemented both now and for future generations. We at DP World, together with our industry colleagues from around the world, look forward to cementing the achievements of previous conferences and discussing building capacity in the region, analysing state legitimacy issues and seeking long term solutions to the problem.”