Accession Number:



Fresh Thinking for an Old Problem, Report of the Naval War College Workshop on Countering Maritime Piracy

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The problem of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia has escalated over the past year, beginning with the seizure of the very large crude carrier Sirius Star in November 2008. The supertanker was carrying two million barrels of oil, and a ransom of three million dollars was paid for the release of the 100 million cargo and the twenty-five crew members being held hostage. The Sirius Star motivated a number of important international initiatives to counter piracy. More progress occurred in counterpiracy diplomacy during the ninety days between the end of October 2008 and end of January 2009 than had transpired in the previous ninety years. During this time the United Nations finished a comprehensive report on the issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia, and the Security Council adopted Resolutions 1846 on 2 December and 1851 on 16 December.Resolution 1851 encouraged creation of a multinational Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia the Contact Group, as it is known, consists of more than twenty nations and met for the first time in January 2009. Since then, the Contact Group and subordinate working groups have met on a number of occasions, with the fourth meeting, in September, to be chaired by Japan. The United Kingdom signed a bilateral agreement to hand over pirates to Kenya in December, and the United States signed a similar agreement in January. The European Union and Kenya signed a similar accord on 6 May. The Arab and African states in the region reached agreement on the nonbinding Djibouti Code of Conduct to facilitate greater regional cooperation against piracy. Both the Contact Group and the Djibouti Code nations acknowledged the need to create a regional counterpiracy center modeled on the sixteen-nation regional counterpiracy Information Sharing Centre in Singapore.

Subject Categories:

  • Naval Surface Warfare

Distribution Statement: