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November 6, 2003

ITF seeks UN action on piracy

Commenting on the ever-increasing incidence and violence of piracy attacks, Jon Whitlow, Secretary of the Seafarers═ Section of the ITF said yesterday:

˝It is unacceptable that the scourge of piracy and armed robbery persists in the 21st century and that the figures show an increase in the number of attacks and greater levels of violence being directed against seafarers. How many more seafarers must die or be traumatized before the hand wringing, pious words and well meaning resolutions are replaced by decisive action? If a fraction of the money being spent on the new maritime security regime and a similar level of political will was expended, then the problem of piracy and armed robbery could be addressed.

˝Piracy and armed robbery can be conquered. Governments must set aside their concerns over national sovereignty and embrace international or regional co-operation arrangements. Shipowners must put in place additional security measures to deter illicit boarding and ensure that their vessels are adequately manned, so that the crew can effectively perform the various recommended practices.ţ

˝Given the reports of possible links between the criminals responsible for pirate and armed robbery attacks and international terrorism it is time that this issue was addressed by the United Nations Security Council.ţ

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