End piracy at sea now - Icopas

2011-10-19 22:43

Stockholm - The international community should act now and "not 20 years from now" to end the spiralling problem of piracy at sea, especially off Somalia, an international conference said on Wednesday.

In a draft declaration, the three-day International Conference on Piracy at Sea (Icopas) described the the humanitarian and economic costs of piracy as "unacceptable".

"Political will, effort [and] co-ordination are needed to address the root causes and to deter and defeat piracy," said the declaration, calling on the United Nations to create a "Maritime Enforcement Mandate" within Somalia's economic zone to protect Somali and international interests.

"The reality is that a few hundred [people]... are being held against their will in Somalia and a few other parts of the world," said conference chair Maximo Mejia of the World Maritime University

"Something needs to be done about the situation today, not 20 years from now, not 30 years from now," he added, speaking at the close of the three-day conference in the southern town of Malmoe.

This year there have been a record 352 pirate attacks worldwide, according to a report this week by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

Somali pirates, who have created an industry based on hijackings and ransom payments in the strategic waters next to their lawless homeland, accounted for 199 of the attacks, up from 126 during the same period last year, according to the report.

"People in the maritime] industry have been stretched to their limit of patience," Mejia said.

The 410 conference participants from around the world "were not optimistic but still hopeful" that the international community and national governments would do more to end the "scourge", he said.

Big fat can of worms

Among their many recommendations, the participants called on the international community to develop "innovative international tools to overcome the constraints of national boundaries and jurisdiction in dealing with piracy".

They also demanded that national governments "honour their obligations to successfully prosecute and punish pirates".

"There is a whole laundry list of things that need to be done," Mejia said, adding though that perhaps the most important focus should be on putting "Somalia back on its feet".

"You can only eradicate piracy if you get at its roots. What is piracy but a manifestation of the problems they are experiencing on land?"

"If you had pirates here, you'd have police and the navy to combat the threat, but there, there is no navy, there is no police, there is no government. It's a big fat can of worms," he pointed out.

The conference addressed a number of contentious issues, Mejia said, mentioning the use of privately contracted security personnel to help ward off pirate attacks and especially how to handle the fact that many if not most of the pirates who are caught were under the age of 18.

"It is becoming more and more apparent. It's really the rule rather than the exception [that the pirates are under 18] and that has international legal implications.... You can't really prosecute these people as pirates, but more as juvenile offenders," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    imb  |  benin  |  somalia  |  pirates
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.