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.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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