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16 NOVEMBER 2010
PH GAINS GROUND IN FIGHT AGAINST PIRACY WITH
10 November 2010, United Nations, New York – The Philippines took another major step forward in its efforts to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia when it succeeded in joining the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia today.
The Philippines was officially admitted as member of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia during the 7th Plenary Meeting of the CGPCS today at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Ambassador Hayoong Moon of the Republic of Korea, chair of the 7th CGPC Plenary Meeting, announced the membership of the Philippines in the presence of participants from 50 member states, eight international organizations and five shipping industry associations.
“This is an important membership for us as the Contact Group is the primary global body that is taking direct action on multiple levels to address the serious problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia,” according to Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia was established on 14 January 2009 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851 to facilitate discussion and coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Among its members are Australia, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, The Netherlands, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia TFG, Spain, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen, as well as the African Union, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the UN Secretariat, and the International Maritime Organization.
“We intend to work closely with the other members of the Contact Group as we are determined to protect our Filipino seafarers from this scourge,” Ambassador Cabactulan said.
“We had made it abundantly clear to the Contact Group that the Philippine Government attaches great importance to the protection and welfare of seafarers inasmuch as there is a high number of Filipinos seafarers on merchant vessels that sail off the coast of Somalia and nearby areas,” Ambassador Cabactulan explained.
“There was recognition of the important contribution Filipino seafarers make to the shipping industry as well as our government’s determination protect their rights and welfare,” Ambassador Cabactulan said, adding “We will not rest as long as a single Filipino seafarer remains a hostage or any Filipino seafarer is endangered by pirates.”
Filipino seafarers account for almost 30% of the global seaborne manpower.
The Philippine Government closely cooperates with the shipping industry regarding the application of the Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the training and deployment of Filipino seafarers, especially those who serve in ships traversing high risk waters.
The Philippine delegation also expressed the Philippines’ deep appreciation to the CGPCS members whose individual and collective efforts have contributed to protect the sea lanes in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean making it safe for navigation and thereby indirectly benefiting the Filipino seafarers.
Turkey will chair the next CGPCS 8th plenary meeting in March 2011 in New York. END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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