Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dubai Conference June 2012

In the last week of June, the second international counter-piracy conference to be held in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) occurred.

 The conference was attended by more than 400 people representing 41 countries, executives from 73 maritime companies and organisations, and various UN and IMO (International Maritime Organisation) personnel. Present at the conference were both President Shaikh Sharif Shaikh Ahmad of the TFG and President Ahmad Mohammad Silyano of Somaliland.

The Conference's aim was to further advance public-private coordination in the fight against piracy. During the conference, the UAE pledged 1 million U.S. dollars to the Somali maritime security and coastguard. Earlier in the month the UAE had withdrawn their funding of the Puntland Maritime Police Force. (This funding had only been announced in February this year. Read the story here)

The UAE and France also announced that with the help of France, the UAE will host training of Somali judges to support and enable local, Somalia-based prosecutions of people charged with piracy. The first group of 31 Somali judges will travel to the UAE in October for training in holding piracy trials.

The UAE are the current chair of the Contact Group on Piracy.