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Maritime piracy is quickly becoming one of the most threatening challenges of 21st century: Abdullah

posted on 02/03/2011: 960 views

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DP World are jointly convening a major international conference aimed at enhancing government and industry responses and initiatives to counter the growing threat of maritime piracy.

Foreign ministers from more than fifty countries and CEOs of leading global companies in maritime and related industries have been invited to the two-day event, entitled Global Threat, Regional Responses: Forging A Common Approach to Maritime Piracy:, which will be held in Dubai between April 18 and 19, 2011.

This UAE driven initiative comes at a time when pirate attacks worldwide have grown to an unprecedented level. In the first two months of 2011, despite a heightened level of international response, at least 80 commercial cargo ships came under attack in the Gulf of Aden alone - with 19 vessels hijacked. Some 40 ships are currently estimated to be under pirate control, together with 800 mariners held captive, many in appalling conditions. In addition to the devastating human cost of piracy, the financial cost to global trade is also huge, with estimates as high as US$12 billion a year1.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: "Maritime piracy is quickly becoming one of the most threatening challenges of the twenty-first century. It hurts not only global trade and commerce, but also has a damaging impact on peace, security and stability in many regions of the world. To defeat piracy, a coordinated and sustained effort by governments, security forces and industry is required; and a successful response must address not just the symptoms of piracy, but also the underlying causes.

"The UAE is pleased to take this initiative to enhance the Gulf region's activism in the global fight against piracy. The growth in the scale of pirate attacks and areas affected over the past twelve months demonstrates that we must all urgently redouble our efforts in the current international response. We have high expectations that this event will provide a significant opportunity for government and industry leaders to share their experience and expertise, and help support the international effort to eradicate the threat of piracy worldwide."

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World, said: "We are proud to help facilitate this important discussion. The private sector is directly impacted by piracy and the threat of piracy and therefore has a strong interest in contributing to finding solutions in close liaison and co-operation with governments.

Importantly, the impact on the seafarers who are captured and their families is immeasurable. "Countering piracy will not be achieved overnight - it will take a long term commitment from all involved. We encourage our industry colleagues to be part of this important initiative and help find meaningful, long term solutions to the problem." The conference will explore a number of key areas of the global fight against piracy, encouraging the forging of comprehensive responses in key areas, which include: international law; root causes of piracy; analysis and information sharing; and opportunities for expanding civilian-military cooperation.

The UAE's position as a world hub for trade and commerce together with its significant regional and international partnerships are expected to make the event a key platform for the coordination of the urgent international response to end the threat piracy presents to global peace and security. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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