Anti-Piracy Group SOS SaveOurSeafarers Welcomes UK Gov’t. Support

February 22, 2012

SOS SaveOurSeafarers has issued the following statement following a conference in London on Somali piracy, organized by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office, held at the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Giles Heimann, Chairman of the Group stated: “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 stabilize 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 brings together 30 different organizations from the international maritime industry “to raise awareness of the human and economic cost of piracy using approaches to politicians and industrial leaders at the highest level,” the bulletin explained. “It began operations in March 2011. Over 100,000 visits to its website from 188 countries and over 31,300 letters have been sent to governments worldwide.

It focuses its efforts on resolving the piracy problem off Somalia; to see piracy deterred, defeated and eradicated, and to “stop seafarers being tortured and murdered.”

Source: SOS SaveOurSeafarers

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