New Year's Greetings from the OBP Team!
We look forward to continued progress in this critical year in the fight against piracy and violence at sea. But first and foremost, our thoughts are with the seafarers still in Somali pirate hands. At least 26 confirmed hostages taken in 2012 remain in captivity, and evidence suggests that pirates are now holding several other seafarers.
OBP remains committed to three priority areas that will guide our efforts in the coming year:
- A comprehensive solution to maritime piracy requires an inclusive, long-term approach. We believe that the transparent, cross-sector approach, demonstrated by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, has proven successful. This model of cooperation across sectors should be considered as part of a long term and global approach. OBP will continue to foster and encourage counter-piracy cooperation and commitment across all sectors.
- Seafarers and fishermen are those most affected by violence at sea. We seek increased security for them by improving incident reporting, ensuring basic training for those in high-risk areas, and ensuring post-incident support. OBP will continue to support the work to free and repatriate the remaining hostages still being held in Somalia.
- Piracy and armed robbery at sea are being addressed, but are not solved. The international community must remain ready for a rapid re-engagement and response until long-term capacity building efforts can ensure regional ownership. OBP is dedicated to proactive and objective monitoring and reporting of incidents in high threat areas to help inform this process.
We cannot reduce violence at sea alone. The global community can take pride in progress so far, but we cannot yet claim to have reached a permanent solution.
You can count on the OBP team to remain engaged and committed. We look forward to partnering with you in 2016.