An Interactive Guide to International Efforts to Address Piracy Off the Coast of West Africa

Below you will find an interactive overview of international efforts by a wide range of stakeholders aimed at addressing piracy in West Africa. We hope that this will provide you with greater knowledge of the current, planned, and completed activities occurring to solve piracy, and increase capacity, in the Gulf of Guinea region.

To see entire range of activities for a program, please click the program name, you will be taken to a new page.

To sort by organization type, please use the filter above the table. 

Activity Status Key

  • Activity implemented
  • Ongoing activity
  • Activity planned or in development
  • No activity implemented or planned
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TitleNaval ResponseIndustry ResponsePlight of SeafarersMessaging and AdvocacyRegional CapacitySomali CapacityRule of LawCoordination

Denmark pledges to consider naval deployments in the Gulf of Guinea, should regional governments request its assistance.

No activity planned or implemented.

The Danish Counter Piracy Strategy vows to "work through the ILO to elevate the Danish rules regarding protection of seafarers exposed to piracy to the international level". Denmakr also would like to create a common set of guidelines for handling the rights of seafarers following release with a focus on gaining more clarity regarding the responsibilities of all stakeholders.

No activity planned or implemented.

The Strategy describes a particular focus on building Maritime Domain Awareness in the Gulf of Guinea, with support to MTISC-GoG.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

The Strategy pledges support to the Yaounde process through the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea process, as one of the most important channels for cooperation and coordination efforts in the Gulf of Guinea.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The objectives of the 2014 EU Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea focus on building regional capacity, including (1) helping governments of the region build robust institutions, maritime administrations and multiagency capabilities to ensure maritime awareness, security and the rule of law along the coast (2) supporting prosperous economies in the region in line with national and regional development strategies, to create employment and assist vulnerable communities to build resilience and resist criminal or violent activities, and (3) strengthening cooperation between the countries of the region and the regional organisations to enable them to take the necessary actions to mitigate the threats at sea and on land.
  • The Critical Maritime Routes in the Gulf of Guinea Programme (CRIMGO), which began in January 2013, helps governments across West and Central Africa to improve safety of the main shipping routes by providing training for coastguards and establishing a network to share information between countries and agencies across the region.
  • The focus of CRIMGO is on the security and safety of essential maritime routes. Its objective is to increase maritime security and safety; thereby helping to secure shipping and trading lines of communication. In the long term, the programme aims to improve maritime governance. (link)
  • The EU Gulf of Guinea Action Plan 2015-2020 intends to build capacity of regional and national institutions but conducting needs assessments, providing external expertise, supporting regional and national coordination centers, helping to develop national maritime strategies and improve maritime intervention capabilities. In particular, the plan aims to improve information exchange through improving surveillance and traceability systems and reporing mechanisms to improve efficiency and capabilities.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • An objective of the 2014 EU Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea is to help regional governments put in place rule of law institutions that can (1) enable suspects to be investigated, tried and suitably punished according to law and with respect for human rights standards and (2) facilitate access to justice and human rights protection (also for victims of human trafficking); to promote judiciary and home affairs reform. Key dimensions are the independence and protection of judges and investigating magistrates, forensic capacity to provide evidence. in court and reduce the use of illegal interrogation methods
  • The EU Gulf of Guinea Action Plan aims to improve law enforcement and judicial cooperation through "assisting development of national legal frameworks" and eventual ratification of international instruments such as UNCLOS and SOLAS. The EU will support "an efficient justice chain--competent police and prosecution, independent and efficient judiciary, adequate detention facilities, in order to deal effectively with piracy and criminality". The goal is to also support the development of a standard legal framework across the region.
  • The 2014 EU Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea lists as an objective the building of a common understanding of the scale of the threat in the Gulf of Guinea and the need to address it among the countries in the region and the international community
  • The EU’s approach is stated to be based on partnership with the countries of the Gulf of Guinea and close coordination with their regional organizations and other international organizations active in the region, including: Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), UN Offices for Central and for West Africa and on Drugs and Crime, (UNOCA, UNOWA and UNODC), and international organizations including the AU, UN agencies such as International Maritime Organization (IMO), as well as INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
  • The EU Gulf of Guinea Action Plan hopes to promote "bilateral dialogues with ECOWAS, ECCAS, GGC, the African Union, and National governements focused around the EU's strategic objectives on promoting the maintenance of peace and stability in general in the Gulf of Guinea region". The EU will identify key actors in regional and national organizations, hold political dualogues regularly to assess security, gaps, trends and needs,support and promote ideas that improve cooperation, and particuplate and contribute to high level coordination meetings and summits to support the Yaounde process.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • From February 25 to 28 2013, the OCIMF initiative for a Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC GoG) was set up at the Regional Maritime University in Accra, Ghana, for a trial run.
  • In March 2014, the MTISC-GoG team, made up of Lieutenant Commander David Kpetigo of the Ghanaian Navy, Captain Marc McShane of Shell, and six watchkeepers, assembled in Ghana to commence training
  • In April 2014, MTISC-GoG moved into operation. The MTISC GoG Centre is now open and is manned 24-hours a day. (link.)

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • A report on the distribution of pirate attacks released by UNITAR in 2014 tracked a trend toward widening geographic risk in West African waters. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • SAA is an area where vessels can anchor safely from the threat of a pirate attack. Armed patrol boats protect the SAA, enforcing a protective zone in an effort to interdict and deter potential threats. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The SAA is a public-private partnership, resulting from the work of the Nigerian Navy, Ocean Marine Security, and the PGS Group. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Responding to the need for a comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach, UNODC, UNOWA/DPA, DPKO and INTERPOL set up the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI). WACI is a joint programme that entails a comprehensive set of activities targeting capacity building, at both national and regional level, in the areas of law enforcement, forensics, border management, anti-money-laundering and the strengthening of criminal justice institutions, contributing to peacebuilding initiatives and security sector reforms. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • A cornerstone of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) is the establishment of a Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) in each country. The national inter-agency unit gathers and analyzes information, and develops operational intelligence to support its lead investigative role in the most complex crime cases. TCUs are elite units, manned with staff seconded from national law enforcement agencies, trained and equipped to fight transnational organized crime. UNODC, DPKO/Police Division and INTERPOL provide advisory and mentoring to selected and vetted national staff. (link)
  • Developed by INTERPOL, the WAPIS Programme is an EU-funded project. The project facilitates the collection, centralization, management, sharing and analysis of police information among countries belonging to the 15 countries of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mauritania. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The “Durban Resolution,” declaring the AU’s shared commitment to tackle the issues of maritime safety, security, transport, and environmental protection. Specifically, the AU condemned piracy and maritime pollution. The AU supports the initiative of the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA) and IMO on establishing an Integrated Coast Guard Network in the sub-region and promotes sub-regional cooperation and coordination in the provision of coast guard functions inclusive of maritime intelligence, surveillance, safety and security, protection of environment and search and rescue.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Article 100 (f) of the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy encourage Member States to facilitate proper care, treatment and repatriation of seafarers who are subject to incidents of piracy or armed robbery.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Member states to the African Maritime Transport Charter shall endeavor to invest in and finance established programmes for education and training in relevant maritime skills and upgrading maritime professionals in all areas of the maritime and ports industry. The Durban Resolution encourages the African regional economic communities to undertake or pursue supplementary projects in areas where there is need to build local maritime capacity and invites member states to provide the resources necessary to ensure the safety, security and protection of the marine environment.
  • 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) was developed to create a long-term vision for the future of Africa’s maritime economy.  It is designed to develop common maritime policies, rules and procedures to enhance maritime viability on the African continent. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Chapter VIII of the African Maritime Transport Charter contains provisions concerning maritime safety and security. Member States agree to revise and harmonize, if necessary, their maritime, port, and inland waterways legislations in order to make them compatible with international instruments and to share information about unlawful acts perpetrated at sea. With particular regard to piracy, armed robbery, and other unlawful acts against shipping, member states commit to adopt effective measures to combat such acts through cooperation with other international bodies. The Durban Resolution condemns all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea and contains provisions for member states to enact national legislation and to ratify and implement international instruments relating to maritime security, such as the International Ship and Ports Security (ISPS) Code.
  • Under the African Maritime Transport Charter, member states undertake to put in place a maritime communication network in order to make optimum use of mechanisms for control, follow-up and intervention at sea and ensure better organization of maritime traffic. In addition, member states should strive to create a strategic framework for the exchange of information and mutual assistance in order to enhance measures that can improve the safety, security and prevention systems and make it possible to combat unlawful acts perpetrated at sea, such as piracy and armed robbery. The Durban Resolution encourages the sharing of information pertinent to maritime security at sub-regional and regional levels.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Responding to the need for a comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach, UNODC, UNOWA/DPA, DPKO and INTERPOL set up the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI). WACI is a joint programme that entails a comprehensive set of activities targeting capacity building, at both national and regional level, in the areas of law enforcement, forensics, border management, anti-money-laundering and the strengthening of criminal justice institutions, contributing to peacebuilding initiatives and security sector reforms. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • A cornerstone of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) is the establishment of a Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) in each country. The national inter-agency unit gathers and analyzes information, and develops operational intelligence to support its lead investigative role in the most complex crime cases. TCUs are elite units, manned with staff seconded from national law enforcement agencies, trained and equipped to fight transnational organized crime. UNODC, DPKO/Police Division and INTERPOL provide advisory and mentoring to selected and vetted national staff. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Led the assessment mission to the region from 7 to 24 November 2011 in the Gulf of Guinea. The main objectives of the mission were: (a) to assist the Government of Benin in the formulation of a national integrated programme to address drug trafficking, organized crime and piracy; and (b) to assess the scope of the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region and explore possible options for an effective United Nations response. See report here
  • Responding to the need for a comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach, UNODC, UNOWA/DPA, DPKO and INTERPOL set up the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI). WACI is a joint programme that entails a comprehensive set of activities targeting capacity building, at both national and regional level, in the areas of law enforcement, forensics, border management, anti-money-laundering and the strengthening of criminal justice institutions, contributing to peacebuilding initiatives and security sector reforms. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Responding to the need for a comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach, UNODC, UNOWA/DPA, DPKO and INTERPOL set up the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI). WACI is a joint programme that entails a comprehensive set of activities targeting capacity building, at both national and regional level, in the areas of law enforcement, forensics, border management, anti-money-laundering and the strengthening of criminal justice institutions, contributing to peacebuilding initiatives and security sector reforms. (link)
  • UNOWA, in partnership with UNOCA, has been supporting ECOWAS, ECCAS and the GGC’s efforts toward the development and the adoption of a comprehensive Joint Regional Maritime Strategy to effectively fight piracy and related transnational criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea . The mechanisms includes the Annual meetings of the Chiefs of Institutions of ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC and the Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC) to be located in Cameroon (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • A cornerstone of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) is the establishment of a Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) in each country. The national inter-agency unit gathers and analyzes information, and develops operational intelligence to support its lead investigative role in the most complex crime cases. TCUs are elite units, manned with staff seconded from national law enforcement agencies, trained and equipped to fight transnational organized crime. UNODC, DPKO/Police Division and INTERPOL provide advisory and mentoring to selected and vetted national staff. (link)
  • UNOWA coordinates its efforts with UNOCA, UNODC, DPKO, INTERPOL, ECOWAS, ECCAS and the GGC.
  • The United States Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan, released June 2014, states as its paramount goal to safeguard U.S. citizens and U.S. interests, including protecting the lawful flow of commerce in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • U.S. departments and agencies will work with public-facing elements of the United States Government, such as the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Transportation, to provide timely threat assessments and warnings for U.S. citizens and companies traveling through or working in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • The Department of State will continue to track the regional States’ procedures or restrictions for the use of PCASP in order to be able to provide current information for U.S. shipping interests.
  • The U.S. further states its intention to continue to engage the shipping industry to provide input, follow best management practices, and require U.S. flagged vessels to implement effective measures to protect against pirates and armed robbers operating at sea.
  • The United States Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan, released June 2014, includes a framework for combating piracy and enhancing maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea
  • The U.S. trains, equips, and conducts exercises and operations with African maritime forces through programs like Africa Partnership Station, which is conducted cooperatively with international partners. Further, the U.S. intends to expand its combined operations with African partners
  • The United States will support efforts by Nigeria to enforce land-based security in the Niger Delta and reduce strongholds for maritime criminals.
  • The United States will support and empower key reformers and institutions of government at all levels to promote the rule of law; strengthen checks on executive power; incorporate responsive governance practices; enhance transparent accounting of oil-related sales; transfers, and investments; develop policies to strengthen maritime security; and improve decision-making processes at national and local levels, including specific maritime, commercial, regulatory, and/or criminal justice institutions.
  • The United States Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan, states the U.S. intention to strengthen the judicial sector and the broad array of civil and criminal justice-related activities required to support rule of law and compliance in the maritime domain.
  • Where appropriate, the United States Government will help their African partners build their capacity to investigate and prosecute cases effectively. Two potential focus areas are the States’ ability to collect forensics evidence from the ships after an attack, and coordination among law enforcement, navies, and prosecutors.
  • The United States continues to support ECCAS and ECOWAS in their effort to develop regional frameworks for maritime cooperation, including its support in drafting the signed ECCAS-ECOWAS Memorandum of Understanding and a Code of Conduct for Central and West Africa.
  • The United States Government will encourage and support the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Center – Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GOG) in Accra, Ghana.
  • Established in 2013, and as an outcome of the U.S.-hosted November 2012 G-8++ Africa Clearinghouse, the G-8++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea (FOGG) serves as the primary international coordination body on GOG maritime security.
  • Working in coordination with France, the United Kingdom and others to develop the G-7++/FoGG maritime capacity building platform to help coordinate international activities in the region.
  • Together with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), MOWCA developed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of a Sub-regional Integrated Coast Guard Network in West and Central Africa, which was adopted in Senegal in July 2008. To date, it has been signed by 15 of its 20 coastal member States and provides a framework to promote regional maritime cooperation and a stable maritime environment as well as the peace, good order and prosperity of West and Central Africa
  • The goal of the Network is to initiate joint efforts to safeguard human life, enforce laws and improve the security, safety and protection of the environment. (link)
  • SC Resolutions 2018 and 2039 advocate a close collaboration between MOWCA and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC).
  • On February 21st 2014, MOWCA launched the Information and Communication Center (CINFOCOM), which networks maritime activities and creates a database to combat piracy.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • SC Resolutions 2018 and 2039 advocate collaboration between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) to develop a comprehensive strategy as to the (1) development of domestic laws and regulations criminalizing piracy (2) development of a regional framework to counter piracy, and (3) development and strengthening of relevant domestic laws and regulations.
  • The Code of Conduct concerning the prevention and repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa was developed by GGC together with the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Signatories to the Code intend to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, IUU fishing and other illegal activities at sea.
  • In a June 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC, the parties agreed to (1) hold annual meetings to provide guidance, monitoring and evaluation of regional cooperation and (2) create an inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC) for the implementation of the regional strategy for maritime safety and security.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • In June 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding between ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC maritime centers was established in order to achieve better regional cooperation. The areas of cooperation identified include: (1) technical cooperation (2) training and capacity building (3) information management and data collection (4) mobilization of resources (5) coordination of join activities (6) management of sea borders.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • SC Resolutions 2018 and 2039 advocate collaboration between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) to develop a comprehensive strategy as to the (1) development of domestic laws and regulations criminalizing piracy (2) development of a regional framework to counter piracy, and (3) development and strengthening of relevant domestic laws and regulations.
  • The Code of Conduct concerning the prevention and repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa was developed by ECCAS together with the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC). Signatories to the Code intend to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, IUU fishing and other illegal activities at sea.
  • In a June 2013 Memoradum of Understanding between ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC, the parties agreed to (1) hold annual meetings to provide guidance, monitoring and evaluation of regional cooperation and (2) create an inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC) for the implementation of the regional strategy for maritime safety and security.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • In June 2013, a Memoradum of Understanding between ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC maritime centres was established in order to achieve better regional cooperation. The areas of cooperation identified include: (1) technical cooperation (2) training and capacity building (3) information management and data collection (4) mobilization of resources (5) coordination of join activities (6) management of sea borders.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • SC Resolutions 2018 and 2039 advocate collaboration between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) to develop a comprehensive strategy as to the (1) development of domestic laws and regulations criminalizing piracy (2) development of a regional framework to counter piracy, and (3) development and strengthening of relevant domestic laws and regulations.
  • The Code of Conduct concerning the prevention and repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa was developed by ECOWAS together with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC). Signatories to the Code intend to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, IUU fishing and other illegal activities at sea.
  • In a June 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC, the parties agreed to (1) hold annual meetings to provide guidance, monitoring and evaluation of regional cooperation and (2) create an Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC) for the implementation of the regional strategy for maritime safety and security. 

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • In February 2012, the Heads of State and Government in West Africa stressed the importance of the political leadership and coordinating role of ECOWAS in combating the increasing threat posed by piracy and other forms of organized maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea. The Commission was tasked to develop a holistic strategic maritime policy framework to guide future actions and cooperation and strengthen collaboration.
  • In June 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding between ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC maritime centers was established in order to achieve better regional cooperation. The areas of cooperation identified include: (1) technical cooperation (2) training and capacity building (3) information management and data collection (4) mobilization of resources (5) coordination of join activities (6) management of sea borders.
  • The Declaration Condemning Acts of Violence Against Seafarers (“Washington Declaration”) is a declaration of flag states designed to ensure post-pirate attack incident reports are filed with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). These reports are focused on tracking the level and type of violence pirates’ use against seafarers. The Declaration initially concentrated primarily on incidents off the coast of Somalia.  The major flag states and seafaring nations reaffirmed their commitment to provide information on West African incidents at the 9/23/2014 Forum on Seafarer Welfare.
  • Signatories of the Washington Declaration commit to supplying post-incident reports to the IMB after pirate attack or hijacking.
  • Article 3.1 of the Code provides that its Signatories intend that any measures taken pursuant to the Code of Conduct should be carried out by law enforcement or other authorized officials from warships or military aircraft.
  • Article 3.5 of the Code provides that its Signatories intend to ensure a balance is maintained between the need to enhance maritime security and the facilitation of maritime traffic and to avoid any unnecessary delays to international maritime trade in West and Central Africa.
  • Article 2.1(d) of the Code states that its Signatories will co-operate with a view towards facilitating proper care, treatment, and repatriation of seafarers, fishermen, other shipboard personnel and passengers subjected to transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, IUU fishing, and other illegal activities at sea, particularly those who have been subjected to violence.
  • Article 4 of the Code sets out the measures against maritime crime to be taken at the national level, including the implementation and development of: (1) national maritime security policies, (2) national maritime security committees or other systems for coordinating activities (3) national maritime security plans, and (4) prosecution in domestic courts.
  • Article 2.1(c) of the code states that its Signatories will co-operate with a view towards ensuring that persons committing or attempting to commit in transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, IUU fishing and other illegal activities at sea are apprehended and prosecuted.
  • The Code was authored by Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC).
  • It was adopted formally in Yaoundé in June 2013 by Heads of State or their representatives from 25 West and Central African countries, including 13 Presidents, as well as implementation of the MoU developed by IMO and the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA) (link)
  • Article 2.3 of the Code states that its “Signatories intend to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of transnational organized crime in the maritime domain, maritime terrorism, IUU fishing and other illegal activities”
  • Article 17 provides the outline for the creation of the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre and the areas of cooperation for the signatories over a three year period.
  • AFRICOM’s Africa Partnership Station (APS) is U.S. Naval Forces Africa’s (NAVAF) flagship maritime security cooperation program. The focus of APS is to build maritime safety and security by increasing maritime awareness, response capabilities and infrastructure
  • APS seeks to improve capabilities with partner naval forces using four “pillars” to increase maritime safety and security: (1) Develop Maritime Domain Awareness—maintaining a clear picture of the maritime environment; (2) Build maritime professionals; (3) Establish maritime infrastructure; (4) Develop response capabilities while building regional integration. (link)
  • Obangame Express, conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is an at-sea maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea. It focuses on maritime interdiction operation, as well as visit, board, search, and seizure techniques.
  • Saharan Express is an annual regional maritime exercise facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Africa off the coast of Dakar, Senegal.  The exercises are designed to enhance regional states in their ability to monitor and enforce their territorial waters and EEZs.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP) program enables African partner nations to build maritime security capacity and improve management of their maritime environment through real world combined law enforcement operations. Typically the operations employ an African host nation’s own law enforcement boarding team, along with a U.S. Coast Guard boarding team, operating from a U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Navy vessel.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • AFRICOM ‘s Office of Legal Counsel hosted Africa Military Legal Conferences in 2010 and 2011 bringing together legal experts from various African countries to discuss legal challenges and initiatives.
  • U.S. AFRICOM's programs and activities are integrated and coordinated with the Department of State, U.S. Chiefs of Mission, and international partners (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB-PRC), established in 1992, maintains a round-the-clock watch on the world’s shipping lanes, reporting pirate attacks to local law enforcement and issuing warnings about piracy hotspots to shipping (link)
  • The main aim of the IMB-PRC is to raise awareness within the shipping industry of the areas of high risk associated with piratical attacks or specific ports and anchorages associated with armed robberies on board ships.
  • The main function of the PRC is twofold: (1) To be a single point of contact for ship Masters anywhere in the world who are under piratical or armed robbery attack. The information received from the Masters is immediately relayed to the local law enforcement agencies requesting assistance. (2) The information received from the ship Masters is immediately broadcast to all vessels in the Ocean region - thus providing vital information and increasing the Masters domain awareness. (link).
  • The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre receives reports following incidents of piracy as a result of the Declaration Condemning Acts of Violence Against Seafarers
  • The IMB issues global piracy reports, highlighting the violence that takes place at sea and in the Gulf of Guinea. Reports on Piracy are offered by the IMB free of charge here.
  • The Live Piracy & Armed Robbery Report website provides information about recent piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea
  • The IMB mission statement notes the importance of reporting piracy and armed robbery at sea incidents to law enforcement, collating and disseminating information on piracy in all parts of the world, providing updates on pirate / armed robbery activity via the internet, providing access to the live piracy online map, and publishing quarterly and annual reports detailing piracy statistics.
  • International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center (IMB-PRC) works and shares information with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), various governmental, inter-governmental and law enforcement agencies including all industry bodies in an attempt to understand the nature of this crime and reduce its effects to crew, vessel and cargo. The IMB-PRC also coordinates with all vessels in the ocean region by alerting the vessels of any pirate activity within the region. 

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • MPHRP’s aim is to assist seafarers and their families with the humanitarian aspects of a traumatic incident caused by a piracy attack, armed robbery or being taken hostage.
  • MPHRP’s first phase of development consists of five-outputs: (1) Development of “good practice” guides for use by shipping companies, manning agents and welfare associations to support both seafarers and their families through the three-phases of piracy incidents: (a) pre-departure; (b) the crisis; and (c) post-release/post-incident. (2) MPHRP has developed training modules for coping with the stages of piracy. (3) The establishment of an international network of trained first-responders with appropriate skills within partner and associated organizations. (4) MPHRP is developing a network of professionals who work with victims of piracy in the aftercare. (5) A 24-seafarer’s helpline in coordination with SeafarerHelp, a project of the International Seafarers Assistance Network (ISAN), which maintains a 24-hour helpline, staffed by individuals who speak 27-different languages collectively. 
  • MPHRP also offers a series of pre-departure and awareness training courses and materials from shipping companies, manning agents, seafarers and welfare responders.
  • MPHRP publishes news related to humanitarian issues on their website.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • MPHRP consists of partner organizations representing shipowners, ship-managers, manning agents, unions, insurers and welfare associations, who join together with intergovernmental organizations to address problems of piracy. (link)
  • SC resolutions, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, authorize member-states to ‘take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security’.
  • In Resolution 2039 (February 2012), the SC welcomed the contributions by Member States and international organizations in support of ongoing national and regional efforts to secure Gulf of Guinea coastal areas and conduct naval operations, including the joint patrols carried out by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin off the coast of Benin.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • In Resolution 2039 (February 2012), the SC expressed its concern over the threat that piracy and armed robbery at sea pose to the safety of seafarers and other persons, including through their being taken as hostages, and deeply concerned by the violence employed by pirates and persons involved in piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • In October 2011, UNSC held a meeting discussing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, wherein member states discussed capacity building strategies. That same month, the SC adopted Resolution 2018, encouraging the States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) to develop a comprehensive strategy as to the (1) development of domestic laws and regulations criminalizing piracy (2) development of a regional framework to counter piracy, and (3) development and strengthening of relevant domestic laws and regulations. The SC further encouraged the international community to assist, upon request, the States concerned in the region and other relevant organizations and agencies in strengthening their efforts to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea, in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • SC Resolution 2039 (February 2012) urges States of the region of the Gulf of Guinea to take prompt action at national and regional levels to develop and implement national maritime security strategies.
  • In August 2013, the President of UNSC made a statement stressing the need for international assistance as part of a comprehensive strategy to support national and regional efforts to assist the states undertaking steps to address piracy and armed robbery at sea and the illegal activities connected therewith.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • UNSC Resolution 2018 (October 2011) calls upon States of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), in conjunction with flag States and States of nationality of victims or of perpetrators of acts of piracy or armed robbery at sea, to cooperate in the prosecution of alleged perpetrators, including facilitators and financiers of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea committed off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, in accordance with applicable international law.
  • SC Resolution 2039 (February 2012) urges states to develop a legal framework for the prevention, and repression of piracy and armed robbery at sea and as well as prosecution of persons engaging in those crimes.
  • SC Resolution 2018 (October 2011) encourages States of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), to develop and implement transnational and transregional maritime security coordination centres covering the whole region of the Gulf of Guinea, building on existing initiatives, such as those under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • SC Resolution 2039 (February 2012) stresses that coordination of efforts at the regional level is necessary for the development of a comprehensive strategy to counter the threat of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea. 

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • In UNGA resolution 66/231 (5 April 2012), the Assembly expressed their grave concern at the threats piracy and armed robbery at sea pose to the safety and welfare of seafarers and other persons.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • UNGA resolution 67/78 (5 December 2012) Recognizes the crucial role of international cooperation at the global, regional, sub-regional, and bilateral levels in combating threats to maritime security through bilateral and multilateral instruments and mechanisms aimed at monitoring, preventing and responding to such threats.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • UNGA resolutions 55/7 (27 February 2001), 59/24 (4 February 2005), 60/30 (8 March 2006), and 64/71 (12 March 2010) emphasize the importance of reporting acts of piracy and sharing information between states affected by piracy and call upon states to facilitate the apprehension and prosecution of suspected pirates, and urge all states to adopt national legislation to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea.
  • Resolution 67/70 (3 December 2012) welcomes the efforts of the Standing Advisory Committee towards addressing cross-border security threats in Central Africa, including acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea
  • UNGA resolution 66/231 (5 April 2012), along with resolutions 65/37 A (7 December 2010) and 65/37 B (4 April 2011) emphasize the importance of information sharing and urge states to work with IMO to suppress piracy.
  • The UNGA circulated information at its sixty-seventh session as to the Gulf of Guinea Heads of State and Government decision to convene a regional summit in order to establish an integrated framework to combat maritime crime.
  • The UNGA has also coordinated their counter-piracy initiatives with the UN Security Council.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The World Bank’s Pirate Trails report has a broad application, and can be used to address the growth of piracy off the West African coast. The World Bank encourages the tracking and disrupting the financial flows of piracy-related activity, as this facilitates the detection of pirate financiers, intermediaries, investors and beneficiaries. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The World Bank Group worked in coordination with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to release the Pirate Trails report.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • As a shipping association providing a wide range of services to its global membership of stakeholders, BIMCO works closely with industry to respond to piracy.
  • In association with NATO Shipping Centre, International Chamber of Shipping, Intertanko, and Intercargo, BIMCO and taking into account the operation of the Martime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC-GoG), released updated Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Masters for protection against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region.
  • Specialist Piracy Clauses setting out party rights and obligations in response to piracy risks were first issued by BIMCO in 2009. In 2013 BIMCO provided updated clauses to reflect changes in industry practices as well as the law.
  • BIMCO works on enhancing proficiency and qualifications within the industry through its educational programmes.
  • In 2013, BIMCO drafted guidelines for the use of GUARDCON that would apply specifically to West Africa. The new guidelines were released in February 2014. This document lays out guidance for the contracting of private security in West Africa (link)
  • BIMCO participated in IMO’s 2010 Year of the Seafarer, highlighting concern about issues facing seafarers, including fair treatment in the event of piracy.
  • BIMCO publishes information and news on piracy for its members in the News and Education sections of its website.
  • In 2013, BIMCO and ReCAAP designed a Prevent Piracy poster for its members, with the purpose of reminding crews about the importance of actively preventing acts of piracy against their ship.

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Through its efforts in facilitating commercial operations of its membership by means of developing standard contracts and clauses, BIMCO promotes the rule of law by creating stability and certainty in the industry response to piracy.
  • Because it provides a wide range of services to stakeholders who have vested interests in the shipping industry, BIMCO works in coordination with industry to respond to piracy.
  • BIMCO maintains connections with various international organizations, national and regional bodies, maritime associations and companies. A list of these can be found here

No activity planned or implemented.

No activity planned or implemented.

  • The Hostage Relief Programme is dedicated to the safe return of hostages as well as serving as a base of support for both the hostage and their family after the incident. The program is funded by the Counter Piracy Trust Fund and is divided into five phases aimed at providing the hostage with support throughout the process.

 

  • During the 2013 42nd Ordinary Session of the Authority Heads of State and Government in Côte d’Ivoire, UNODC and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) jointly launched a Transnational Organised Crime Threat Assessment (TOCTA) on West Africa, which highlights the latest contraband flows, as well as emerging threats such as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and the growing insecurity in the Sahel. The full report can be found here.
  • In addition, UNODC and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA) jointly prepared the UN Secretary General Report on Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa and the Sahel. The report highlights the recent developments in the region, evaluates the progress made thus far and provides strategic advice on a coordinated response by all actors. (link)
  • Under its Maritime Crime Programme, UNODC expanded assistance relating to combating piracy and other forms of crime occurring at sea to other regions such as the Gulf of Guinea. UNODC’s activities included assistance to people held hostage by pirates and capacity-building for maritime law enforcement and related legislative assistance. (link)
  • Following the UN inter-agency mission to assess the scope of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea in November 2011, which was co-led by UNODC and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (DPA), UNODC continued to support Benin to develop a national strategy to combat transnational organized crime, including piracy.
  • UNODC has also been working with other UN agencies to implement the recommendations of the assessment mission, as well as Security Council Resolutions 2018 (2011) and 2039 (2012).
  • At the national level, UNODC continues to mobilize resources to support the implementation of National Integrated Programmes in Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mauritania and Togo, as well as initiated the development of similar strategies for Liberia, Mauritania, Niger and Sierra Leone, in consultation with national actors. (link)
  • Responding to the need for a comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach, UNODC, the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), DPA, the United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and INTERPOL set up the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI). WACI is a joint programme that entails a comprehensive set of activities targeting capacity building, at both national and regional level, in the areas of law enforcement, forensics, border management, anti-money-laundering and the strengthening of criminal justice institutions, contributing to peacebuilding initiatives and security sector reforms. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • UNODC’s Regional Programme for West Africa, adopted at the 35th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, seeks to establish legislative frameworks and enforcement capacities in West Africa. UNODC will engage with concerned countries in the design of adequate and effective counter-piracy initiatives where both legal and enforcement aspects are taken into account. Such activities would be complemented by others conducted within the UNODC framework of terrorism prevention, international cooperation in criminal matters, and law enforcement capacity building.
  • In order to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the criminal justice system, the UNODC states as a main objective to train and provide adequate equipment to forensic service providers in the region. In addition, the UNODC seeks to establish mechanisms to address emerging issues which cannot be dealt with by individual countries but require a regional response. Efforts will be made in areas such as crime scene investigation, document examination, fingerprint analysis and computer forensics.
  • A cornerstone of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) is the establishment of a Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) in each country. The national inter-agency unit gathers and analyzes information, and develops operational intelligence to support its lead investigative role in the most complex crime cases. TCUs are elite units, manned with staff seconded from national law enforcement agencies, trained and equipped to fight transnational organized crime. UNODC, the United Nations Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)/Police Division and INTERPOL provide advisory and mentoring to selected and vetted national staff. (link)
  • UNODC coordinates its piracy-related activities with other UN agencies, as well as regional states and bodies.
  • UNODC convened a workshop on the “Legal Facilitation of Gulf of Guinea Maritime Law Enforcement” in Ghana from December 10-13, 2013, bringing together relevant experts from the maritime security sector. (link)

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. These documents can be found here.
  • In 2013, the IMO released Interim Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Masters for protection against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region (link).
  • The IMO International Maritime Law Institute contributes to the development and dissemination of knowledge and expertise in international maritime law, with special reference to the international regulations and procedures for safety and efficiency of shipping.
  • IMO’s global campaign, entitled Day of the Seafarer, is held every year on June 25th.
  • The campaign seeks to increase awareness among the general public of the services seafarers render to international seaborne trade, the world economy and society at large.
  • Specifically, IMO seeks to redouble their efforts at the regulatory level to create a better, safer and more secure world in which seafarers can operate. (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • IMO is involved in maritime security-related capacity building through the ITCP, as well as the West and Central Africa Maritime Security Trust Fund.
  • IMO has also developed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Establishment of a Sub-regional Integrated Coast Guard Network in West and Central Africa (link) to counter both piracy and armed robbery against ships. A full list of the critical measures to be implemented in order to achieve the objectives of the IMO/MOWCA MoU can be found in Annex A of its strategy for implementation.
  • As a result of table top exercises conducted by IMO, Ghana has revived its National Maritime Security Committee, and IMO has been working with the Liberia Maritime Authority to help it to operationalize its national maritime security strategy (link)
  • IMO’s other capacity building initiatives take place within the wider context of sustainable maritime security measures, described in the IMO’s 2014 strategy for enhancing maritime security in West and Central Africa (link). Notably, IMO’s work with the Code of Conduct, formally adopted in Yaoundé in June 2013, addresses the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in West and Central Africa.
  • IMO supports two regional information centres being established in West and Central African States. The 2014 Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre Gulf of Guinea project aims to establish an affordable, sustainable and enduring regional maritime information sharing centre within the Gulf of Guinea. Additionally, IMO is working with ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC to establish the Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC) (link)

No activity planned or implemented.

  • Listed as one of their critical measures of implementation (link), IMO will offer training and legal assistance in cooperation with the UNODC and other organizations. These efforts will enable countries to be able to effectively prosecute, in their domestic courts and in accordance with relevant domestic laws, perpetrators of all forms of piracy and unlawful acts against seafarers, ships, port facility personnel and port facilities.
  • IMO seeks to establish legal frameworks around national policies and enabling legislation for law enforcement detachments and ‘shipriders’, national legislation and procedures for seizure of assets, and national policies and enabling legislation for privately contracted armed security personnel PCASP operation. (see Annex D of IMO WCA strategy)
  • In every initiative, IMO works in close cooperation and coordination with other UN bodies, particularly United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the regional offices for Central Africa (UNOCA) and West Africa (UNOWA).
  • IMO also works in coordination with international partners such as INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO), and development partners such as Japan, France, US Africa Command, China, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Norway.
  • IMO supports developments led by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) to make operational a regional maritime trade information sharing centre (MTISC) in Accra, Ghana. (link)
  • In July 2013, more than 60 participants from the 20 coastal Member States of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) joined international experts for a seminar on maritime and port security, held in Cotonou, Benin. This seminar was organized by IMO in conjunction with PMAWCA, and afforded participants an opportunity to exchange best practices and highlighted the importance of cross border cooperation. (link)
  • IMO recurrently issues reports on piracy and armed robbery incidents, which can be found here.