IMO chief admits military action alone cannot halt piracy

March 3, 2012 1:56 am 

MANILA, March 2 – International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said military action alone cannot solve piracy in Somalia

Sekimizu made this statement following a United Kingdom-hosted conference on the many problems affecting Somalia, one of which was piracy.

The meeting was held at Lancaster House, London last week.

“On the issue of piracy, the conference agreed that piracy cannot be solved by military means alone and reiterated the importance of supporting local communities to tackle the underlying causes of piracy and improving effective use of Somali coastal waters through regional maritime capacity-building measures. I will re-double my efforts to ensure that IMO will provide further support to signatory states of the Djibouti Code of Conduct, including Somalia, within the Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund and accelerate the process of implementation by the IMO,” he said.

Since first raising the issue of Somalia-based piracy with the UN Security Council in 2005, IMO has worked to strengthen the protection of persons, ships and cargoes in piracy-infested areas and also preserve the integrity of shipping lanes of strategic importance and significance.

“While not diminishing in any way the importance of immediate, preventative measures, an ever-greater emphasis must now be placed on tackling the problem across broader fronts,” Sekimizu said.

The IMO chief was referring to the building of effective counter-piracy capacity and infrastructure in the affected region; the development of proper legal and criminal infrastructures; undermining the pirate economy and its associated financial model; helping to develop viable, alternative sources of income for those who have been, or may be, tempted to turn to crime. (PNA) RMA/PFN

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