Seychelles calls for fuller regional ownership of piracy at the 22nd CGPCS plenary session in Mauritius.
Speaking on 20 June in Mauritius, on behalf of IOC Chair of Council of Ministers, Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and the Blue Economy, Ambassador Barry Faure made a strong call at the 22nd plenary session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS): “The Contact Group should ensure that all the regional countries play a more active role by stepping up their engagements against piracy aggression and by taking up full ownership over the problem of piracy,” he said.
Ambassador Faure added that “Seychelles should not be left alone in accepting and prosecuting pirates in the region, the burden of piracy should be shared by all in the region.” He also expressed Seychelles’ strong opposition to the premature release of convicted pirates, appealing to the CGPCS Chair that assurances should be given “that there will be no further early release of convicted pirates.”
Around 40 representatives of countries, regional organizations and shipping industries across the world were gathered under the chairmanship of Mauritian Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Nandcoomar Bodha, who stated in his intervention that Mauritius will ensure that the CGPCS continues to play an active role in the region. “Leaving a lasting legacy in the region was the motto of Seychelles during its presidency and we shall keep it”, reinforced Honourable Bodha.
The official opening of the plenary was made by Minister Mentor, Minister of Defence and Minister for Rodrigues, Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, who called for greater coordination among key stakeholders in the region, followed with the announcement that Mauritius will launch the 3rd Maritime Security Ministerial Conference next year.
Participants of this Group spoke at length about the future of the group based on a study undertaken by a group of scholars from the University of Copenhahen led by Professor Christian Buerger, which highlighted the importance for the CGPCS to continue its activities and the need to streamline existing working groups like the Operations at Sea and Regional Capacity Building in order to avoid duplication and fragmentation.
The group bestowed the Republic of Kenya with the chairmanship of the CGPCS for two years from 1st January 2020, with IOC offering its secretariat services to ensure continuity.
Members of the Seychelles delegation included Chief of Staff, Colonel Michael Rosette, Special Advisor for Home Affairs, Ms. Sheryl Vengadasamy, Director General at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jacques Belle, Director for Reflecs3, Inspector Joseph Bibi, and Seychelles legal expert at the IOC, Mrs. Irene Sirame.