EU Naval Force Operation Commander and IMO Secretary-General Warn No Room for Complacency Against Somali PiracyNovember 27, 2014 - 15:40
The Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Major General Martin Smith MBE, visited the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr Koji Sekimizu, at the IMO headquarters in London on Wednesday 26 November.
Meeting to discuss the current situation off the Horn of Africa, the two leaders agreed that Somali-based piracy remains a threat to international shipping, and agreed that there was no room for complacency where pirates are concerned. Naval forces are still very much required in the West Indian Ocean, and merchant ships should continue to apply IMO guidance and Best Management Practices with diligence.
To that end, Mr Sekimizu welcomed the extension of the EU’s Operation Atalanta counter-piracy mandate to the end of 2016, which was announced in Brussels at the end of last week.
The EU Naval Force’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid for the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of AMISOM as they transit along the Somali coast, and to deter and disrupt piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. EU Naval Force units also monitor fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.
The IMO is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping, and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. It is the global standard-setting authority in its field, and its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented, so that ship operators cannot address their financial issues by simply cutting corners and compromising on safety, security and environmental performance. Further information can be found at www.imo.org.
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