By Andy Sambidge
Dubai port operator's joint vice chairman says gov'ts and industry must act together to curb attacks
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 a ceremony in London, where a new DP World-sponsored Countering Piracy award was initiated, Parker said piracy cost the shipping industry up to $12bn a year.
He said around 800 mariners were currently held in captivity, many for months.
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.
He added: "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."
DP World is one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, with 49 terminals and nine new developments and major expansions across 31 countries.
The UAE is hosting a Counter-Piracy Conference convened by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DP World on April 18-19.
It 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.