Thursday, May 28, 2009

Anti-Piracy Conference Opens in Cairo

Anti-piracy conference opens in Cairo

By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Cairo

An international conference is being held in Cairo to discuss the growing problem of piracy.

The meeting brings together experts in security, shipping and insurance as well as government representatives from 20 countries.

At the same time, another anti-piracy conference is being hosted in London.

It is a clear indication that concerns remain over the threat to shipping, not just in the Gulf of Aden, but in trade routes and waterways around the world.

The latest figures from the International Maritime Bureau show that there have been 114 attempted attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia's east coast so far this year.

Twenty-nine resulted in hijackings and 478 hostages were taken.

Streamlined response

The Cairo event is not officially sponsored by the government of

but is more a response from the private sector to the
They will discuss short-term solutions - such as improving security on board ships - as well as a host of longer-term policy proposals which they hope will streamline the international response.

For instance, several countries have suggested creating an international court to try suspected pirates.

For now, procedures vary greatly between countries as to what they do with the pirates they capture.

The broad message from the conference is that piracy affects all of us.

In the past year, the insurance premiums for ships passing through the Suez Canal have soared - a cost that must eventually be passed to the consumer.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2009/05/27 04:13:49 GMT

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