Piracy Conference in Addis


Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) is organizing a four-day international conference pertaining to piracy at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa.
The conference is to be conducted from March 18 to 21 between the two working groups (Working Group 1 and 4) of the five groups under the CGPCS.
The meeting will be attended by representatives from over 40 countries. Working group 1 is chaired by the United Kingdom (UK) and supports the coordination of international naval operations and judicial penal and maritime capacity-building activities in regional states, while working group 4 is chaired by Egypt and focuses on the public diplomacy aspects of combating piracy off the coast of Somalia. Since 2000, pirate attacks on ships transiting the Gulf of Eden, have sharply risen. Until recently, armed gangs have sought to extract ransoms for financial gain by capturing vessels and their crew, as they pass through the waters off the coast of Somalia and the wider Indian Ocean. Chaos and fear have beset the region due to such criminal activities. Pirate actions have disrupted crucial humanitarian aid deliveries to Somalia and continue to prevent the development of legitimate economic opportunities.
The world’s trade transport industry has severely been affected because of increased shipping insurance premiums along one of the world’s most travelled routes, and damaged littoral economies by forcing the diversion of vessels around the Cape of Good Hope. 
According to a report by the One Earth Future Foundation, maritime piracy has cost the international economy nearly USD 7 billion in 2011 alone.
Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851 (2008), the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) was established on January 14, 2009, to facilitate the discussion and coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia.
This international forum has brought together more than 60 countries and international organizations, all working towards the prevention of piracy off this particular coastal area. 
Since its creation, the CGPCS has contributed to a marked reduction in the volume of pirate attacks and hijackings. Over the last three years, the number of successfully ships captured by pirates has dropped from 47 in 2010, to 25 in 2011, and now is down to 5 in 2012.