U.S. Calls for Cooperation in Combating Sea Piracy
Published: 14 May 13:36 EDT (09:36 GMT)
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - The U.S. called on May 14 for increased civilian and military cooperation worldwide to combat sea piracy, off the perilous coasts of Africa in particular.
Maritime forces should unite with insurance and shipping companies to make it "so hard, so difficult, and high risk for pirates to undertake their business that they stop doing it," said Adm. Gary Roughead, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations.
· Asia & Pacific Rim
· Middle East & Africa
· Naval Warfare
He was speaking on the sidelines of a conference in Copenhagen on maritime security that grouped more than 200 representatives from 60 countries, including navies, non-governmental organizations and NATO.
The two-day meeting was organized by Denmark and the U.S. to discuss ways of combating a disturbing rise in incidents of sea piracy.
"Cooperation is the key. One country can't do it alone," Roughead said, citing the example of efforts made by countries bordering the strait of Malacca.
Faced with "significant" piracy problems, "Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia came together, put together ways of sharing information (and) began in an effective way patrolling the area," he said.
"They have essentially reduced piracy for the last five years from an excessive 50 events a year to one this year," he added.
But acts of piracy have continued to increase elsewhere around the world.
In 2007, there were 263, up from 239 in 2006, according to the International Maritime Organisation.
Waters off the coast of Somalia, which has not had an effective central government for more than 17 years and is plagued by insecurity, are considered among the most dangerous in the world.
Ships from Denmark, France, Spain and Japan have been hijacked by pirates in the region in the past six months and were released after ransom money was paid.