No Time for Complacency on Piracy

In 2011, 176 ships were attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

No Time for Complacency on Piracy

Maciej Popowski
Deputy-Secretary General of the European External Action Service

In 2011, 176 ships were attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. Twenty-five of these attacks were successful.

In 2013, seven ships were attacked, but no attack was successful.

It is clear that the international fight against piracy is producing results. Yet there is no room for complacency: 49 innocent seafarers are still being held hostage by pirates. Some have been held in captivity for over 1,000 days.

There is also evidence that the piracy business model has been fractured. However, it is far from broken yet.

And the root causes of piracy need to be addressed: while the symptoms occur at sea, the origin of the problem is on land. Piracy remains a complex issue fueled by weak rule of law, instability and poverty.

So the counter-piracy effort of the international community must continue. This week the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia meets under the chairmanship of the European Union for its sixteenth plenary session at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The Contact Group on Piracy — created in 2009 — brings together all stakeholders, public and private, that are affected by Somali-based piracy. It is a unique and inclusive construct that represents a new international governance model for truly comprehensive approaches to complex problems. It welcomes those who are willing and able to contribute to solutions to piracy, including humanitarian organizations, academics and private citizens.

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