Thursday, May 20, 2010

SIGN ANTI PIRATE PETITION HERE ! Shipping Interests Declare War On Piracy

All Sides and Groups Unite Against a Common Enemy
Shipping News Feature

WORLD WIDE – No one in the shipping industry can be unaware of the growth area over the past few years. Piracy, particularly in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, has risen to hitherto unseen levels. Periods of austerity have always led to piratical acts going back as far as history itself and this recent trend is not a phenomenon, other than the scale of the modern targets. No vessel, container ship, bulk carrier, tanker or private yacht is safe when travelling some of the worlds shipping lanes.

Now, after determined efforts by individual interests, and less than effective measures by many others, we are seeing a greater effort to cooperate and coordinate the battle against the buccaneers. On the 14th May there was an informal meeting at the United Nations hosted by Ban ki-Moon Secretary General of the United Nations together with Abdurahman A. Ibrahim, Somali Deputy Prime Minister. Also present was International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos and the meeting was organized as three panels focussing on piracy from a wide variety of perspectives, including political, legal, social and economic aspects of combating it, in general, and in the particular case of Somalia.

Mr. Mitropoulos took the opportunity to highlight the successful collaboration that Asian nations, with IMO support, had already established to combat piracy and armed robbery in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. He expressed the expectation that a similar approach in the current trouble-spots - off the coast of Somalia, the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean - would also pay dividends, and pointed to IMO's success in drawing up the Djibouti Code of Conduct under which regional systems and infrastructure for information sharing, training, maritime situational awareness and legislative improvements are being established.

Formally adopted in January 2009, the Djibouti Code now has 14 signatory States, all united in the effort to implement the rule of law at sea. The code was itself inspired by the Regional Co-Operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia; which was signed in 2004 by 16 countries.

Today a truly eclectic band of shipping interests are to put pressure on the relevant authorities by way of an international petition intended to persuade governments by assimilating half a million signatures by World Maritime Day (23rd September 2010). The group launching the scheme range from seafaring unions, insurance bodies, shipping company owners and associations, a wide spectrum rarely so united in one cause.

The petition can be signed HERE and the petitions text is as follows:

Enough is enough! Governments must act now to fight piracy Almost every day seafarers are being kidnapped and exposed to an increasing risk of injury or even death

Every day seafarers transport the world’s goods through areas where the risk of pirate attack is increasing

Every day seafarers’ families are suffering worry and uncertainty

Every day the chances of attracting people to jobs at sea - on which all our economies rely - are shrinking

Every day shipping companies and their insurers have to pay for increasing anti-piracy measures, extra fuel and ransoms - costs that are eventually passed on to the consumer

Every day the risk of a major ecological disaster due to an oil spill caused by piracy increases

Every day the chances of a recovery in the world economy are being jeopardised by this threat to world trade

We, the undersigned, urgently call on Governments to do everything possible to protect the thousands of seafarers and the hundreds of ships at risk of attack by pirates by:

• dedicating significant resources and concerted efforts to find real solutions to the growing piracy problem;

• taking immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families;

• working within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people.

Sign the petition HERE .

Sponsor Organisations for this global petition include:

BIMCO (The Baltic and International Maritime Council)

ICS (International Chamber of Shipping)

IFSMA (International Federation of Shipmasters' Associations)

IMEC (International Maritime Employers’ Committee)

IPTA (International Parcel Tankers Association)

Intercargo (International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners)

InterManager (International Ship Managers' Association)

International Group of P&I Clubs (IGP&I)


ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation)

IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance)

SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Tankers & Terminal Operators Ltd)