Wednesday 22 February 2012 – Following Tuesday’s conference on Somali piracy organised by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and held at the IMO’s London headquarters, Giles Heimann, Chair of the SOS SaveOurSeafarers ** campaign, said:
“We welcome the acknowledgement of the importance of the continuing partnership between the shipping industry, the naval forces and governments, and their ongoing commitment in tackling the issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia. We look to reinforce these relationships. “The conference also highlighted the successful co-ordinated naval operations in the region, which, combined with industry self-protection measures, have helped reduce the number of successful pirate hijackings despite continued increasingly violent pirate attacks. “The conference’s recognition of the economic and human cost of piracy and the suffering of seafarers echoes our campaign’s objectives as we try to raise awareness of the consequences of Somali piracy, and attempt to stir up more political will. We also welcome the conference’s acknowledgement of the underlying causes of Somali piracy, and of the need to stabilise and strengthen internal governance within the country, and to strengthen judicial prosecution capacity in the region in order to bring pirates to justice.”
** SOS SaveOurSeafarers is the biggest ever grouping of the international maritime industry with 30 organisations joined together to raise awareness of the human and economic cost of piracy using approaches to politicians and industrial leaders at the highest level. It started operation in March 2011. Over 100, 000 visits to its website from 188 countries and over 31, 300 letters sent to governments worldwide. Its main aims are to resolve the piracy problem off Somalia; to see piracy deterred, defeated and eradicated; to stop seafarers being tortured and murdered.