Denmark’s Counter-piracy Strategy

Strategy for the Danish counter-piracy effort

The absence of an effective central administration and the collapse of law and order in Somalia, combined with great poverty, have led to a stark increase in piracy activities off the 1,800 nautical mile coastline of Somalia – and since 2009 also in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The increased piracy activity has a great human cost for those held hostage and their relatives. It also affects those who carry out their jobs onboard the ships passing through these waters. Moreover, piracy has had a significant negative impact on international commercial shipping and trade, which has also affected the African countries which are experiencing declining trade and growing commodity prices.

Piracy is a global challenge. For a maritime nation like Denmark, which handles about 10 percent of global maritime shipping measured by value, the problem is felt clearly. Countering piracy is therefore a high priority for the Danish Government.

With this strategy, the Government intends to create a coherent framework for the comprehensive Danish effort against piracy over the next three years. At the same time, the Danish effort is placed within an international context. The overall aim of the Danish Strategy effort is to contribute to making the waters off the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean safe and navigable for Danish and international maritime shipping. The effort includes bilateral and multilateral political, military, legal and capacity building initiatives. The Strategy on Piracy is in line with the Danish Somalia Policy Paper, which puts Denmark’s political and foreign aid engagement into a strategic framework.

The Strategy focuses on Denmark’s contribution to:

  • promoting international coordination and focus on counter-piracy efforts, as well as strengthening regional and bilateral cooperation on counter-piracy efforts;
  • combating pirates through periodic deployment of a naval contribution and a maritime patrol aircraft;
  • identifying practical solutions to the legal challenges posed by counterpiracy efforts;
  • working to make the application process in relation to civilian armed guards as flexible as possible, as well as working for the production of international guidelines for the use of civilian armed guards;
  • providing support for follow up on ships’ compliance with Best Management Practices (BMP);
  • building capacities in order to enable the countries in the region to take on the challenges by themselves in the longer term, including support for the creation of coastguard functions in the region, as well as prison capacity in Somaliland and Puntland; and
  • enhancing the international effort to target those backing the pirates, including initiatives to counter money laundering.

Click here to access the original document: Strategy for the Danish counter-piracy effort  2011-2014

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