Today marks the end of the CGPCS Counter-Piracy Week Djibouti. The weeklong event, which commenced on 10 November included meetings of all five working groups, and concluded with a plenary session this afternoon. While the CGPCS had previously held smaller-scale meetings in the region, this week marked the first time that a plenary session has been held within the Horn of Africa. This shift to regional meetings symbolizes the important role of regional nations in the counter-piracy process. The gains that have been made against piracy are the result of a unified effort and continued vigilance on the part of regional, international, and industry stakeholders. This week’s events served as an opportunity to bring these stakeholders together with the aim of extending the positive momentum that has been made against Somali piracy.
OBP Director Jon Huggins attended Counter-Piracy Week and presented at today’s plenary session. During his presentation Mr. Huggins focused on sustaining the progress that has been made against piracy and on the importance of continuing these efforts to ensure that a sustainable solution is found. Mr. Huggins discussed the importance of coastal development for the long-term eradication of piracy and highlighted several examples of public-private partnership projects to demonstrate the work that is currently being done to create legitimate economic opportunities in Somali coastal communities.
While much has been made of the decreased rates of piracy, Counter-Piracy Week Djibouti served as a reminder of all of the work that remains. This week provided a forum for the counter-piracy community to come together, discuss the progress that has been made and initiate discussions on the way ahead for both international and Somali communities. OBP is of the belief that the counter-piracy community must continue its involvement at sea, and intensify its support to build lasting capacity and economic opportunity ashore, to ensure that Somali piracy is truly eradicated.