UN Supports IMO Initiative for Closer Counter-piracy Co-operation

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu met Secretary-General Ban on Friday, 20 January 2012, at UN Headquarters in New York, and discussed matters related to IMO’s work and cooperation between the UN and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to combat Somalia-based piracy.

It was the first time the two had met after Mr. Ban’s reappointment as Secretary-General of the United Nations and Mr. Sekimizu taking the office of Secretary-General of IMO.

The meeting followed the endorsement of IMO’s work in this area, reiterated in November 2011 by the Security Council and the recent report of the Secretary-General (S/2011/662 of 25 October 2011), in which the UN Secretary-General encouraged UN Member States and multinational organizations to consider how they could contribute further to address the root causes of piracy, including through developing land-based initiatives to strengthen Somali and regional maritime and law enforcement capacity.

Mr. Ban agreed with the view of Mr. Sekimizu that capacity building in Somalia and neighbouring countries should be enhanced through cooperation between IMO and UN, UN specialized agencies and other relevant international organizations.

This initiative will build on IMO’s existing capacity-building activities under the Djibouti Code of Conduct, funded by the Djibouti Code Trust Fund.

Mr. Sekimizu further informed Mr. Ban about plans to organize a Counter-piracy Capacity-building Conference on 15 May at IMO Headquarters, as well as a high-level policy debate on arms on board to take place on the first day of the 90th session of the Maritime Safety Committee on 16 May. Mr. Sekimizu encouraged high-level participation to these events from the UN.