Ndebele calls for cooperation against piracy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pretoria -Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has stressed the need to strengthen cooperation and coordination to fight piracy on the Indian Ocean.

Speaking at the26th Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Monday at the IMO Headquarters in London, Ndebele said there must be no room for piracy on international waters especially along the coast of Africa.

"The international community must redouble efforts to curb any further spread of this menace," he told the biennial meeting attended by the 169 IMO member states.

There is a growing problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia. It has become the world's piracy hotspot, with the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur estimating there were 147 attacks in the Gulf of Aden between January and September of this year.

Ndelebe said an urgent political solution must be found to bring about lasting stability in Somalia.

The Assembly will review the work carried out by the IMO during the biennial 2008-2009.

High on the agenda of the Assembly are: to significantly reduce the emission of air pollutants from ships, the significant efforts made to develop a regulatory regime to address greenhouse gas emissions from ships, to prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and the successful delivery of IMO's capacity building activities in developing countries.

Many delegates at the Assembly have expressed the importance of a cooperative move to reduce the piracy of coast off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.