Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Chief of Staff, Captain John Carter, United States Navy attended the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) Working Group #1 meeting at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Headquarters, in London, 12 July 2012.

The one day conference was part of a quarterly series of such events to discuss military and operational coordination, information sharing, and regional capacity building which, in turn, informs the CGPCS plenary session due to be hosted at the United Nations in New York on 25 July 2012.

Captain John Carter, US Navy Combined Maritime Forces Chief of Staff, addresses delegates at the IMO on 12 July 2012

Captain Carter addressed more than one hundred representatives of Flag States and key industry stakeholders.  During his well received speech he provided a review of the current military counter piracy initiatives and emphasized that the recent downturn in piracy was the result of a coordinated approach between governments, military and industry.  He then went on to warn that this encouraging progress remains reversible and that all involved must not relax their determination to act.

Commenting on the day Captain Carter remarked: “While we combat the symptoms of piracy at sea it should be remembered that the root cause manifestly lies ashore.  With 211 hostages and 7 vessels currently being held, the human cost remains untenable.  More must be done.  The military is an essential element in a comprehensive network of global partners that remains committed to achieving internationally recognized humanitarian objectives in Somalia.  The military continues to maintain a consistent strain across the spectrum of unified maritime action to achieve the strategic objectives underwritten by the United Nations”.