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Somalia: Piracy

Volume 490: debated on Thursday 26 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had on the activities of pirates operating from Somalia. (256646)

We continue to work with our international partners to address the problem posed by pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. At a meeting of the UN Security Council in December 2008, attended by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, the UK supported the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1851, which recommended the establishment of an international Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS). The inaugural meeting of the CGPCS took place in New York in January 2009. This meeting led to the subsequent establishment of working groups tasked with considering four key issues:

Working Group 1: Operational and information support and establishment of a counter-piracy co-ordination centre;

Working Group 2: Judicial frameworks for arrest, prosecution and detention of pirates;

Working Group 3: Strengthening commercial shipping self-awareness and self-defence;

Working Group 4: Improving diplomatic and public information efforts.

The UK agreed to lead on Working Group 1 and hosted (with the International Maritime Organisation) the first meeting of the group in London on 24-25 February 2009.