IMO Assembly calls for action on piracy off Somalia
Nations Security Council has urged Member States to use naval vessels and military
aircraft in the fight against piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia
The 24th session
of the IMO Assembly in November-December 2005 adopted a resolution on Piracy
and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia.
was submitted to the Assembly at the recommendation of IMO Secretary-General
Efthimios E. Mitropoulos following its approval, in principle, at the meeting
of the IMO Council which preceded the Assembly.
condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and
appeals to all parties, which may be able to assist, to take action, within
the provisions of international law, to ensure that all acts or attempted acts
of piracy and armed robbery against ships are terminated forthwith; any plans
for committing such acts are abandoned; and any hijacked ships are immediately
and unconditionally released and that no harm is caused to seafarers serving
authorizes the IMO Secretary-General to submit the resolution to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations for consideration and any further action he may deem appropriate,
including bringing the matter to the attention of the Security Council, taking
into account regional co-ordination efforts.
The IMO Secretary-General
is also requested to continue monitoring the situation and to report to the
IMO Council on developments; to establish and maintain co-operation with the
United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia; and to consult with interested Governments
and organizations to discuss providing technical assistance to Somalia and nearby
coastal States to address the problem. This includes taking into account the
outcome of the sub regional seminar on piracy and armed robbery against ships
and maritime security held in Sana'a, Yemen from 9 to 13 April 2005. A follow-up
to this seminar is due to be held in Oman in January 2006.
respects fully the sovereignty, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and territorial
integrity of Somalia and the relevant provisions of international law, in particular
the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
are strongly urged to increase their efforts to prevent and suppress acts of
piracy and armed robbery against ships and, in particular, to co-operate with
other Governments and international organizations in relation to acts occurring
or likely to occur in the waters off the coast of Somalia.
are also strongly urged to:
issue advice and guidance on any measures or actions they may need to take
when they are under attack, or threat of attack, whilst sailing in waters
off the coast of Somalia;
ships to ensure that information on attempted attacks or on committed acts
of piracy or armed robbery whilst sailing in waters off the coast of Somalia
is promptly conveyed to the nearby coastal States and to the nearest most
appropriate Rescue Co-ordination Centre;
a point of contact through which ships entitled to fly their flag may request
advice or assistance when sailing in waters off the coast of Somalia and
to which such ships can report any security concerns about other ships,
movements or communications in the area;
bring to the attention of the IMO Secretary-General information on attempted
attacks or on committed acts of piracy or armed robbery against ships whilst
sailing in waters off the coast of Somalia so as to enable him to promptly
convey such information to the other Member Governments for their consideration
and any action they may deem fit under the prevailing circumstances;
ships to implement expeditiously, for the ship's protection and for the
protection of other ships in the vicinity, any measure or advice the nearby
coastal States or any other State or competent authority may have provided;
establish, as necessary, plans and procedures to assist owners, managers
and operators of ships in the speedy resolution of hijacking cases occurring
in the waters off the coast of Somalia; and
all acts or attempted acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships entitled
to fly their flag occurring in the waters off the coast of Somalia and to
report to IMO any pertinent information.
also requests the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to bring the resolution
to the attention of the Transitional Federal Assembly, requesting it to initiate
appropriate actions suitable to prevent and suppress acts of piracy and armed
robbery against ships originating from within Somalia. It requests the Transitional
Federal Government of Somalia to bring the resolution to the attention of all
other parties concerned in Somalia and seek from them the immediate termination
of all acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships sailing in waters off
the coast of Somalia.
The IMO Assembly
also noted the United Nations World Food Programme's concerns that the current
situation is having a negative impact on the prompt and effective delivery of
food aid and of other humanitarian assistance to Somalia and poses a serious
threat to the health and well-being of the Somali people.
to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea
IMO is implementing an anti-piracy project, a long-term project which began
in 1998. Phase one consisted of a number of regional seminars and workshops
attended by Government representatives from countries in piracy-infested areas
of the world; while phase two consisted of a number of evaluation and assessment
missions to different regions. IMO's aim has been to foster the development
of regional agreements on implementation of counter piracy measures.
The Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against
ships in Asia (RECAAP), which was concluded in November 2004 by 16 countries
in Asia, and includes the RECAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC) for facilitating
the sharing of piracy-related information, is a good example of successful regional
co-operation which IMO seeks to replicate elsewhere.
More recently, a programme of sub-regional meetings was initiated to promote
regional action to address piracy and armed robbery against ships in the wider
context of maritime security.
The first of these was held in Sana'a, Yemen in April 2005 for States in the
Red Sea and Gulf of Aden areas, with a follow-up event planned for Oman in January
The meeting on the Straits of Malacca and Singapore: Enhancing Safety, Security
and Environmental Protection, held in Jakarta, Indonesia in September 2005 also
addressed the issues of piracy and armed robbery against ships and a follow-on
meeting will take place in Malaysia in 2006.
under this programme are scheduled for the Caribbean, South Asia, Asia Pacific
and West and Central Africa in early 2006. Missions to follow up these events
and meetings in other regions will commence later in the year.
in anti-piracy measures, IMO issues reports on piracy and armed robbery against
ships submitted by Member Governments and international organizations. The reports,
which include names and descriptions of ships attacked, position and time of
attack, consequences to the crew, ship or cargo and actions taken by the crew
and coastal authorities, are now circulated monthly, with quarterly and annual
IMO has issued
Guidance to shipowners and ship operators, shipmasters and crews on preventing
and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and Recommendations
to Governments for preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery against
SOLAS Chapter XI-2 on Special measures to enhance maritime security in the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International
Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which entered into force in July
2004, provide also an array of measures which contribute to the fight against
piracy and armed robbery against ships.
48, 24 November 2005