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Working Group 1 :

  • Chaired by the United Kingdom, this Working Group is responsible for facilitating effective naval operational co-ordination and coordinating international efforts to support the building of the judicial, penal and maritime capacity of Regional States to ensure they are better equipped to tackle piracy and maritime security challenges. The Working Group meets three times per year.

    Working Group 1 supports the coordination and development of regional maritime security and judicial/penal capacity development, to maximise the value of international partners�� activities and to avoid duplication of such work. At its thirteenth plenary session in December 2012, the CGPCS endorsed the creation of a new Capacity-Building Coordination Group (CBCG), which will report to and support the Working Group in facilitating the coordination of regional capacity development and the identification of future priorities for international action. This group will consist of partners from various UN agencies including the International Maritime Organization, European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, African Union, The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development in East Africa, and representatives from the international naval Training Awareness and De-Confliction Group.

    To support the work of the CBCG, the Working Group has also created a new web-based Capacity-Building Coordination Platform, which can be accessed by all CGPCS participants and enables real-time sharing of information about regional capability and capacity-building activities. The Working Group will support CGPCS participants and implementing agencies to promote maximum transparency and awareness of current and future capacity-building activity, in order to minimise duplication and ensure the greatest possible positive impact in Somalia and in the wider region.

    The Working Group has previously expressed the following priority areas for capability development: - Support for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime��s penal/judicial programmes in Somalia and the Western Indian Ocean region;
    - Support for the launch of the EU��s mission, EUCAP Nestor, and other activities to develop a self-sustainable capacity to enhance maritime security and governance in Somalia and the region;
    - Support for the priorities set out in the Regional Plan of Action on Piracy and Maritime security in the Eastern and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean region;
    - Support for the establishment of an Exclusive Economic Zone for Somalia as soon as possible.

    The Working Group also offers support to those states and organisations countering piracy off the Coast of Somalia through contributions to, and funding from, the Trust Fund of those States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. The Working Group Chair attends regular meetings of the Trust Fund Board.

    On naval coordination, the Working Group has made clear its support for robust action by international naval forces against pirates, and welcomes the success of the coordinated patrols and convoys in the Gulf of Aden in reducing hijacks in this area and the positive development of the Shared Awareness and De-Confliction Mechanism (SHADE). The Working Group is clear on the importance of compliance by all vessels transiting the High Risk Area with industry-agreed self-protection measures as the first and most effective line of defence.

    The Working Group supports action being taken against hijacked merchant vessels being used as mother ships, disruptions of pirate operations and the continued safe escort of World Food Programme and AMISOM convoys. The Working Group continues to support effective international co-ordination of the maritime effort through SHADE with a view to optimising their effectiveness and making best use of scarce naval resources. The Working Group has called consistently for action to fill capability gaps as identified by the international naval forces, including vital maritime patrol aircraft and oil replenishment tankers.

    Crucial to the long term success of the CGPCS, and indeed this Working Group, is the engagement and support of the Government of Somalia and the regional administrations of Somalia. Their commitment to work together with the international community, notably through the Kampala Process, is essential to ensure the threat of piracy and is underlying causes are tackled comprehensively at its roots.

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