Maritime piracy is an “urgent global priority” that has no quick-fix answers but demands cross-border co-operation between governments and industry, according to Sir John Parker, Joint Vice Chairman, DP World.
Addressing the Seatrade Awards 2011 ceremony at London’s Guildhall on Monday night (April 04), where a new DP World-sponsored Countering Piracy award was initiated, Sir John highlighted the devastating human impact of piracy, with around 800 mariners currently held in captivity, many for months. He also underlined the financial impact on global trade, with estimates as high as US$12 billion a year.
The gala ceremony, attended by over 350 of the maritime industry’s leading players, saw the Seatrade Special Award for Countering Piracy go to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropolous received the award on behalf of Mr Ban from guest of honour, HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.
The new award recognises an individual or organisation that has made a significant contribution to the fight against piracy. It also supports the theme of the International Maritime Organisation’s World Maritime Day 2011, “Piracy: Orchestrating the Response”.
Sir John took the opportunity to showcase the forthcoming Counter-Piracy Conference convened by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DP World 18-19 April in Dubai, under the theme Global Challenge, Regional Responses: Forging a Common Approach to Maritime Piracy”, which will seek to address some of the key issues such as international law, the root causes of piracy, analysis and information sharing, and opportunities for expanding civilian-military cooperation.
Sir John Parker, Joint Vice Chairman, DP World, said: “We are proud that we at DP World, together with the United Arab Emirates Government, are amongst those who are seeking solutions that cross borders and the public/private divide. We know that there are no ‘quick fixes’ to maritime piracy, but we believe that with close co-operation between governments and industry a way forward can be established, and concrete steps taken to combat piracy in key areas.”
The United Nations is also putting its weight behind the initiative and during the conference will seek support for a fund it has established for counter-piracy projects.