During its plenary session in Mauritius (5-7 July), the CGPCS (Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia decided that to achieve the objective of zero seafarers and zero ships detained by pirates, key elements remain: (1) deterrence, monitoring and surveillance at sea, (2) compliance with the Best Management Practices, (3) armed guards on board merchant vessels when required following a risk assessment and legally deployed, (4) reporting networks to establish adequate Maritime Situational Awareness, (5) a legal finish to enable arrest and prosecution of suspected pirates, and (6) the disruption of onshore pirate networks and financiers.
Among the various initiatives taken by the Region and the international community, the final communique commends the establishment of the Regional Centre for Operational Coordination (RCOC) in Seychelles on 1st July 2017, which will operate alongside its sister centre the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) in Madagascar, in line with the 2016 Djibouti Declaration. The new centers will augment the existing Djibouti Code of Conduct information network.
During this session, the future of the working groups were discussed:
Working group 1: Operations at Sea (WGOPS), co-chaired by India, Seychelles and UAE. Main agenda items: Threat Assessments, Naval Coordination, Naval-Industry Coordination, Best Management Practices.
Working group 2: Regional Capacity Building (RCBWG), co-chaired by Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Kenya. Secretariat provided by OBP. Main agenda items: coordination of capacity building in the Western Indian Ocean, assessment and prioritization of capacity building needs, information sharing and maritime situational awareness.
During the working group 2 session, CRIMARIO briefed the participants on its projects including IORIS, its Regional Information Sharing and Incident Management Network.
After the chairmanship of Seychelles, the CGPCS endorsed the offer of the Indian Ocean Commission to take the Chair of the CGPCS for the years 2018 and 2019 from the 1st of January 2018.