CRIMARIO team was present at both CGPCS meetings: Marianne Péron-Doise, political advisor, attended the “Friends of the Chair strategy meeting” from 27 to 28 May 2019 in Copenhagen; François-Régis Cloup-Mandavialle, project coordinator, attended the plenary session in Mauritius on 20 June 2019.

The UN Counter Piracy Trust Fund met on the 27 May to evocate the current funding situation and discuss the future of the fund. A side event was organized by the Danish shipping industry on the 27 May afternoon, titled “Uncovering Hidden Maritime Crimes/Consequences for the Shipping Industry” and the CGPCS strategic meeting took place the following day. Both events were organized by the Danish industry, the University of Copenhagen and the IOC secretariat with the presence of Mr. Nandcoomar Bodha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritius and Chair of the CGPCS.

One of the main announcements of this two-days gathering was the fact that Mauritius, in its capacity of CGPCS chair, will organized a maritime week in Mauritius from 18 to 20 June (Preparatory meetings 18, Ministerial meeting 19, Plenary session with presentation by EUNAVFOR/CMF and the working groups).

Side-event: uncovering hidden maritime crimes/consequences for the shipping industry

The 27 May meeting saw participation of Alan Cole, Head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Global Maritime Crime Programme, on smuggling, Dr. Eugenio Cusumano, Leiden University, on illegal migration in the Mediterranean, Dr. Amaha Senu, Seafarers International Research Centre and Dr. Ursula Daxecker, University of Amsterdam, on different forms of maritime crime. The presentation was followed by a lively and interesting discussion on diverse issues related to safety at sea and the difficulties of SAR assistance to migrants.

CGPCS Friends of the Chair meeting

The meeting was opened by the Director General and CEO of “Danish Shipping”, Mrs Steffensen, who underlined the importance of the Indian Ocean region for international trade and stressed that piracy is contained but not eradicated.

On his side, the CGPCS Chair, Minister Nando Bodha spoke of the strong mobilisation of the maritime community and the IOC during the year and was pleased to mention the extension of Atalanta mandate till 2020. Underlining the link between piracy and maritime crime, he raised the question of an expansion of the CGPCS mandate. He also called for a support to the Trust Fund taking into account that there is still a need of money to prosecute pirates and organize trials.

The traditional counter-piracy update presented by the EUNAVFOR POLAD showed a mixed maritime insecurity landscape with among other subjects of concern the deterioration of situation in Yemen and the Red Sea (incidents at sea, threat of terrorism, port security, weapons smuggling).

Since the beginning of 2019, one  piracy attack was registered (on 19 April 19, a fishing dhow was seized and the FV Adria was attacked on 23 April, but in the following days, EUNAVFOR captured the pirates dhow and arrested 5 suspected pirates) whilst maritime crime activities were on the rise: narcotics smuggling, weapons smuggling, illegal movements of people, fishing disputes and others suspicious activities.

Options for the future of CGPCS

Christian Bueger and Jessica Larsen (University of Copenhagen) presented options on the future of the CGPCS.  It was proposed to consider opening the CGPCS to discuss other forms of maritime crime in order to respond to regional needs. It was also recommended to streamline meetings concerned with maritime security in the region by holding a “maritime security week” during which other regional maritime security mechanisms and instruments could sit, including the CGPCS plenary.

The CGPCS member States stressed the importance to maintain the Group’s focus on piracy, whilst the desire was expressed to also take other maritime insecurity issues into consideration. Given that some of the working groups didn’t meet over the last year (WG 1/Operations, WG2 Capacity Building) it was also proposed by the University of Copenhagen to close them or transfer their responsibilities to other entities (for example to Shade for the WG1).

This have been discussed in details during the Plenary in Mauritius. Read the final communique of the 22nd CGPCS session.

During the plenary session in Mauritius, Kenya has been elected the chair of the CGPCS for a period of two years beginning January 2020.