Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia Meets in New York

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 9, 2010

The United States will join partners from 60 countries and international organizations at the United Nations in New York November 10 for a plenary meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, a growing diplomatic effort that is making steady progress against criminals targeting Africa-bound humanitarian aid shipments and other vessels transiting one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors.

The plenary, hosted by South Korea, will be the seventh gathering of this unique international partnership, which was established following the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1851 to coordinate an effective international response to piracy in the Somali Basin and surrounding waters. Since its initial meeting in January 2009, the Contact Group has nearly doubled in size − a testament to the global consensus that piracy poses a shared security challenge to maritime safety.

Among its accomplishments, the Contact Group has:

  • Facilitated the operational coordination of an unprecedented international naval effort from 20 countries working together to escort vessels and patrol the vast waters of the region. The United States coordinates with NATO and the European Union in these efforts, and also looks to further develop counter-piracy cooperation with countries like China, India, Japan, and Russia.

  • Partnered with the shipping industry to improve practical steps merchant ships can take to avoid, deter, or delay pirate attacks, which have proven an effective deterrent and leading factor in the declining success rate of pirate attacks.

  • Supported the creation of a Trust Fund at the United Nations to defray expenses related to prosecuting suspected and imprisoning convicted pirates and other Contact Group initiatives. The United States supports capacity-building programs to help countries in the region and elsewhere become more self-sufficient in confronting pirate attacks and prosecuting suspected pirate and their enablers and imprisoning those convicted.

To learn more about U.S. support for international efforts against piracy, visit .

PRN: 2010/1610