EU to lead int''l counter-piracy efforts in 2014. KANU

budhcad_badeedaBRUSSELS,-- The EU announced here Monday that from 1 January, 2014, it will assume for one year the chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and will continue the work carried out in 2013 under the chairmanship of the United States. The Group will be chaired by Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General of the EU foreign service, called European External Action Service (EEAS). While the number of hostages has gone down from more than 700 in 2011 to around 50 today, the European Union is strongly committed to bringing this number down to zero: zero ships and zero seafarers in the hands of Somali pirates, stated an EU statement. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton commented that "pirate attacks over the past year have dropped by 95%, but the fight against piracy is not yet won.
It is vital that the international community continues to work together to stamp out piracy and consolidate the gains we have already made". The EU said it looks forward to working with all stakeholders in the region and with the international community to bring the fight against Somali piracy to an end. The eradication of piracy will only be achieved on Somali soil and by the Somali people but the international community needs to keep focus and maintain momentum, stressed the statement. The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia was established on 14 January 2009 pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1851 (2008) to facilitate the coordination of actions among more than 60 states and organisations to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia


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