The United States joined over 80 countries, international organizations, and companies at the United Nations in New York on July 8 for the 18th Plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Todd Chapman led the U.S. delegation, which included representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The plenary, chaired by the European Union, continued international efforts to safeguard commerce and humanitarian aid along one of the world’s 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 more than three years.
The Contact Group has:
- Facilitated the coordination of countries and coalitions to protect transiting vessels, including the United States, China, India, Russia, NATO’s Operation OCEAN SHIELD, and the European Union’s 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
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov.