NATO

Naval Response

Ongoing activity

 At the December 2008 meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels, NATO committed to assist in fighting piracy off the Horn of Africa, in full respect of relevant UNSC resolutions.  In response to requests by the Secretary-General of the UN, NATO and individual Allied nations’ naval forces are providing a deterrent presence and are escorting World Food Programme-chartered vessels carrying humanitarian aid to Somalia.  NATO naval forces have also provided a maritime security presence and escorted African Union-chartered vessels carrying logistical supplies for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Maritime Command Headquarters in Northwood, UK is the command for the Standing Naval Group, which has deployed SNMG1 and SNMG2 to execute Operation Ocean Shield. ). These operations include: ‘(1) To deter, disrupt and protect against pirate attacks, rendering assistance to ships as required and if available. (2) Actively seek suspected pirates and prevent their continued activity through detention, seizure of vessels and property, and the delivery of suspects and evidence to designated law enforcement authorities, in accordance with NATO agreements. (3) Facilitate and support the development of regional states’ capacity to conduct effective counter-piracy operations, in coordination with other related international efforts; and (4) Coordinate NATO operations and initiatives with coalition maritime forces, EU naval forces, and other non-NATO forces conducting counter piracy operations off the Horn of Africa.’ In March 2012 the North Atlantic Council, the governing body of NATO, decided to extend Operation Ocean Shield until December 2014 and in June of 2014 the mandate was extended to the end of 2016.

Industry Response

No activity implemented or planned

No activity planned or implemented.

Plight of Seafarers

Ongoing activity

The Allied Maritime Command is actively involved in disrupting acts of piracy and freeing hostages. An example would be the 12 May 2012 successful disruption of a hijacking attempt aboard a Yemeni dhow. NATO apprehended 14 piracy suspects and rescued 7 crew members. NATO also provides a weekly piracy update detailing threats in the area and advice to masters.

Messaging and Advocacy

Activity implemented

NATO has broadcasted messages in Somali language on Somali radio with an aim to: 1) Encourage Somali people to stay out of piracy business; 2) Explain the consequences of piracy; and 3) Encourage Somali people to report piracy activity to NATO Shipping Centre.

Regional Capacity

Ongoing activity

NATO offers, to  states that request it, assistance in developing their own capacity through trainings to local and regional partners to combat piracy activities. 

Somali Capacity

No activity implemented or planned

No activity planned or implemented.

Rule of Law

No activity implemented or planned

No activity planned or implemented.

Coordination

Ongoing activity

NATO co-chairs the SHADE meetings, a mechanism aimed at coordinating and de-conflicting activities between the countries and coalitions involved in military counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean. NATO coordinates activities with both other naval coordinations and UN groups.