Second Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia
The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) convened its second meeting in Cairo on March 17th, 2009, under the Chairmanship of Egypt, and with the participation of Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, The Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Yemen, the African Union, the European Union, the International Maritime Organization, the League of Arab States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),and the United Nations Secretariat.
The CGPCS listened to presentations from the Chairmen of each of the four Working Groups. The group commended all four Working Groups for their fruitful meetings, and extended its thanks to the hosting countries and organizations. The Group expressed appreciation to the work done so far by the Working Groups, took note of the Chairmen’s summaries and decided that the Working Groups would undertake the following future tasks:
Working Group 1: There was a consensus on the need for WG1 to continue its work in the future, under the Chairmanship of the United Kingdom. It was agreed that the WG would continue working on the tasks identified in the Chairman’s summary, including presenting an options paper on military coordination and options for regional capability development, including in these contexts the possible role and mandate of a counter-piracy coordination center.
Working Group 2: The Contact Group recognized the need for WG2 to continue its work, under the Chairmanship of Denmark. The group agreed that it was necessary for WG2 to continue working on the future tasks identified in the Chairman’s summary, noting the desirability of addressing the tasks simultaneously.
The Contact Group also agreed to entrust WG2 to set the legal framework for a possible International Trust Fund to help defray the expenses associated with prosecution of suspected pirates, as well as other activities related to implementing CGPCS objectives regarding combating piracy in all its aspects, for a decision to be taken by the CGPCS.
Working Group 3: The Contact Group decided to maintain WG3 at its disposal, under the Chairmanship of the United States, without giving it any immediate tasks, while asking it to coordinate closely on issues pertaining to the work of WG1.
Working Group 4: The Contact Group decided that WG4 should continue its work under the Chairmanship of Egypt, and welcomed the recommendation, by WG4, to develop a communications strategy for the CGPCS. It tasked WG4 to examine ways to disseminate the CGPCS message to the identified target audiences, while emphasizing the role of the United Nations Political Officer in Somalia in this regard. WG4 was also tasked to examine a potential role for a Press and Media Officer within the Secretariat of the CGPCS.
The Contact Group welcomed the UN’s readiness to present to its next meeting a needs assessment report on socio-economic projects that have a direct relation to addressing piracy on the land.
With regards to decision-making in the CGPCS, it was decided that decisions of the Contact Group would be taken by consensus. It was further agreed that Working Groups of the CGPCS do not take decisions, but only make recommendations through Chairmen’s summaries for consideration by the CGPCS.
The issue of Chairmanship of the CGPCS was also discussed, and the consensus of the group was that Chairmanship would be rotated on a voluntary basis. The venue of the CGPCS would be at the UN Headquarters in New York, for practical reasons pertaining to representation of countries, unless any State, on an exceptional basis, requested to host the meeting. It was agreed that the Contact Group would meet on an ad hoc basis, depending on its needs, while the date of each meeting would be decided at the prior meeting.
Preliminary discussion on the modalities of expanding the membership of the CGPCS took place on the occasion of the submission of candidatures from several countries. It was decided that the Chair would circulate the letters of the candidates to members of the CGPCS for consideration at its next meeting.
It was agreed that the CGPCS would convene its next meeting in the first week of July, unless the need arises from an earlier meeting.