By Andy Sambidge
Emirates leads international efforts to halt marine threats after 80 ships attacked in Gulf of Aden in 2011
The UAE has won international support for an initiative to combat marine piracy after 80 commercial cargo ships were attacked in the Gulf of Aden during the first two months of 2011.
Several foreign ministers from around the world, CEOs from the world's top shipping lines and a wide range of experts will participate in the event jointly organised by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and global port operator DP World in Dubai on April 18-19.
Some 40 ships are currently estimated to be under pirate control, together with 800 mariners held captive, many in appalling conditions.
In addition to the human cost of piracy, the financial cost to global trade is also huge, with estimates as high as $12 billion a year.
The UAE-led conference comes as UAE armed forces stormed a ship hijacked in the Arabian Sea, freeing the crew and detaining the pirates on board the vessel.
The cargo vessel, belonging to the Abu Dhabi National Tanker Company, was attacked and seized by pirates on April 1 as it sailed from Australia to Jebel Ali.
The rescue operation was carried out by anti-terrorism forces supported by the US Fifth Fleet and UAE air force units.
The UAE's position as a global hub for trade and commerce together with its significant regional and international partnerships are expected to make the event a key platform for the coordination of the urgent international response to end the threat piracy presents.
The UAE and the United Nations will also hold a fundraising event in support of a trust fund to support initiatives in countering piracy off the coast of Somalia, to which the UAE is expected to make a significant contribution.
Why not these countries share a fraction of their 12billion US$ and give it to the pirates and keep the trading channels safe. The pirates want money, so give them and let all countries get on with their trade. Is'nt that right? Why is the conference, a waste of money and time, pay up and release the captives and their shipments.
It has been happening for quiet sometime. The pirates are well experienced and know what they are doing, they seem to be well organized and have everything established as an industry. Otherwise they cannot capture so many ships. So all the member states should treat this as a tax and bear with it and live in peace. The pirates have that confidence that world cannot do anything in majority of the cases.
Kudos to the UAE for spearheading this initiave. It is high time someone stood up to these pirates. Paying a ransom to release a hijacked ship only encourages and funds more hijacking. Hijacking has become the business of choice in certain areas with failing economies like Somalia, and these enormous sums of money paid as ransom would be better used by improving education and creating (legal) jobs for people in these areas.
Until such time, it should be made clear to the pirates that the international community will not tolerate piracy, will not negotiate with pirates, and will use all military means available to eleminate this threat to the lives of the crews of the vessels, and the economy.
I have discussed this with people that know in the Navy. Blockade the ports in Somalia and SINK all Mother Ships and kill all on board solves the problem in a few days.
There is NO need to be politically correct with pirates. Why try them and jail them for years at our expense.
If capured let them, "walk the plank" while at sea.