Shipowners from Asia have issued a strongly-worded plea to the UN to take action to curb the scourge of piracy.
The Asian Shipowners’ Forum Safe Navigation & Environment Committee said shipowners were angry and frustrated by the ongoing attacks, which were continuing despite the presence of naval and military forces in the Indian Ocean.
“Not only are these dangerous Somali pirates free to roam the Indian Ocean at will attacking and hijacking ships, they have not spared ships anchored in sovereign waters. Also, Somali pirates may serve as a strong inspiration for criminals in other states,” said Singapore Shipping Association president Patrick Phoon, who is also chairman of the SNEC.
The ASF said it endorsed the formation of a UN anti–piracy military taskforce consisting of armed military guards that can be deployed in small detachments on board merchant ships to protect them during their transits through the Indian Ocean.
“If the situation fails to improve, soaring transportation costs will have a detrimental effect on already fragile regional and global economies,” said Mr Phoon.
The ASF also recommended urged individual flag states offer clear guidelines on the use of privately-contracted armed security providers.