No activity planned or implemented.
IMO has worked closely with industry to issue documents containing information, guidance and recommendations to governments, ship owners, ship masters and seafarers for preventing and suppressing armed robbery against ships. In addition, the Best Management Practices developed by the shipping industry have been promulgated by IMO in the shape of a Maritime Safety Committee Circular. A code of practice for the investigation of crimes of piracy and armed robbery against ships was issued in January 2010 and IMO worked with INTERPOL to integrate crime scene investigation guidelines into IMO’s package for seafarers. The IMO Maritime Safety Committee has also produced interim Recommendations for Flag States regarding the use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area (MSC.1/Circ.1405/Rev.2) and Interim Recommendations for Port and Coastal States regarding the use of Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area (MSC.1/Circ.1408). Interim guidance to private maritime security companies and shipowners, ship operators, and shipmasters on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in the High Risk Area was adopted in May 2012. More information on IMO piracy guildance can be found here.
Plight of Seafarers
IMO has established two joint working gorups with the ILO on seafer issues: the Joint IMO/ILO Ad Hoc Expert Working Group on Fair Treatment of Seafarers and the Joint IMO/ILO Ad Hoc Expert Working Group on Liability and Compensation regarding Claims for Death, Personal Injury and Abandonment of Seafarers. Among other accomplishments, their work created Guidelines on fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident, adopted by IMO's Legal Committee in 2006. The guildlines recognize seafarers as a special category of worker with needs for special protection in the event of a maritime accident and during any investigation and detention by public authorities. IMO also provides guidance to shipowners and ship operators, shipmasters and crews on preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships (MSC.1/Circ. 1334) and published guildance on training and certification requirements for ship security officers and seafarers with designated security duities. This guidance is intended to aid seafarers who may have experienced difficulty obtaining necessary certification under the the 2010 Manila amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Every year, IMO celebrates Day of the Seafarer on June 25th, giving the public a chance to voice their support for seafarers.
Messaging and Advocacy
No activity planned or implemented.
IMO is involved in maritime security-related capacity building through the ITCP and multi-donor trust funds such as the IMO Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund, the International Maritime Security Trust Fund, and the IMO Malacca and Singapore Straits Trust Fund. Any entity may contribute to the fund, and in particular IMO Member States, international and regional organizations and the maritime industry are encouraged to do so.
IMO is planning to work with other UN agencies and organizations to build a sustainable Somali fishing sector/industry, in particular focusing on vessel safety, seamanship training, maritime situational awareness and maritime law enforcement / fishery protection capability. To support the Somali maritime sector, IMO will also focus on developing Somali seafarer education, training and certification centers, securing port areas as a basis for expansion of security controlled zones in coastal areas and as bases for coast guards under the ISPS Code port security programs and procedures.
Rule of Law
In early January 2012, the Secretary-General of IMO appointed a Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Maritime Security and Anti-Piracy Programmes, Mr. Hartmut Hesse, who will be taking responsibility for the implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct and will also act as the IMO representative to conferences and meetings dealing with piracy issues. Following a meeting on 20 January 2012 between the UN Secretary-General and the IMO Secretary-General on the need for increased cooperation between IMO and UN, UN specialized agencies and other relevant international organizations, IMO organized and hosted a counter-piracy capacity-building conference. At the meeting, IMO signed strategic partnerships with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS)-now United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM); the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); the World Food Programme (WFP); and the European Union. The partnerships are intended to ‘reaffirm the mutual commitments to improving coordination at all levels and across all relevant programmes and activities, with a view to strengthening the anti-piracy and maritime capacity of States in the Western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden area and developing viable and sustainable alternatives to piracy in Somalia’. IMO is also part of the Regional Maritime Coordination Mechanism (RMCM) to promote technical cooperation on counter-piracy issues between the regional Somali authorities and the TFG. IMO issues monthly, quarterly and annual reports on piracy and armed robbery incidents. Links to IMO reports and other resources can be found here.