World push for piracy action

19 May 2010

An unprecedented coalition of organisations, from trade unions to shipowners’ associations and insurers, has joined forces to back a global e-petition demanding concrete action to end the piracy that is putting lives at risk and threatening world trade.

The petition, which launches tomorrow (Thursday), is the centrepiece of a new campaign to persuade all governments to commit the resources necessary to end the increasing problem of Somalia-based piracy. It is intended to deliver at least half a million signatures to governments by IMO World Maritime Day, 23 September. It calls on nations to:

• Dedicate significant resources and work to find real solutions to the growing piracy problem.
• Take immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families
• Work within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people

The campaign is being backed by BIMCO, ICS, IFSMA, IMEC, IPTA, Intercargo, InterManager, International Group of P&I Clubs, INTERTANKO, ISF, ITF, IUMI and SIGTTO, as well as national shipowners’ associations and trade unions worldwide.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: “With one click everyone can now make their feelings about piracy known, and then pass the link on to all their colleagues around the world who feel the same. In this way we can signal our belief that it is past time for all governments to do what has to be done to protect seafarers, ships and the goods that they carry and on which we all rely.”

Speaking on behalf of all the signatory associations, ISF President, Spyros M Polemis, explained: “Together we must encourage all governments to do everything necessary to protect the lives of seafarers who are subject to increasingly violent attacks, with over 1800 kidnapped in the last two years alone. Ninety per cent of world trade is carried by sea and governments have a duty to extend the naval protection being provided - which is currently inadequate - and regain control of the Indian Ocean from a handful of criminals.”

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