Mauritius assumed the Chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) for a two-year mandate on 1 January 2018. The CGPCS has been established by the United Nations Security Council in 2009 to facilitate the coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress piracy attacks in the region.
As a result of the deployment of naval forces in the region, acts of piracy have dwindled over time, with only 9 incidents of attempted piracy and armed robbery of vessels recorded in 2018. However, though acts of piracy have been contained, there has been an emergence of other maritime related crimes.
In this context, the setting up of a permanent structure to service the Contact Group and the Chairperson is crucial. Mauritius, during its chairmanship, has taken the lead to establish a Steering Committee to look into the feasibility of such a proposal. The Steering Committee which will meet in Vienna in April this year will also consider the extension of the mandate of the CGPCS to cover other maritime crimes such as illegal drug trafficking, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing, arms trafficking and human trafficking. The Strategic Planning Steering Group will also consider the elaboration of a strategic plan which will map out the future priorities of the CGPCS.
Honourable Bodha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade has handed over the Chairmanship of the CGPCS to H.E Amb Dr Juma, Defence Cabinet Secretary of the Republic of Kenya in Flic en Flac, Mauritius on 27 February 2020.
Speech of Hon. N. Bodha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius on the occasion of the Handing Over Ceremony of the Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS)