An unprecedented coalition of organisations – from trade unions to shipowners’ associations and insurers – has joined forces to back a global e-petition demanding concrete action to end the piracy that is putting lives at risk and threatening world trade.
The petition www.endpiracypetition.org, which launched yesterday (Thursday) is the centrepiece of a new campaign to persuade all governments to commit the resources necessary to end the increasing problem of Somalia-based piracy. It is intended to deliver at least half a million signatures to governments by IMO World Maritime Day, September 23rd. It calls on nations to:
Dedicate significant resources and work to find real solutions to the growing piracy problem.
Take immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families
Work within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people
The campaign is being backed by BIMCO, ICS, IFSMA, IMEC, IPTA, Intercargo, InterManager, International Group of P&I Clubs, INTERTANKO, ISF, ITF, IUMI and SIGTTO*, as well as national shipowners’ associations and trade unions worldwide.
ITF general secretary David Cockroft commented: “With one click everyone can now make their feelings about piracy known, and then pass the link on to all their colleagues around the world who feel the same. In this way we can signal our belief that it is past time for all governments to do what has to be done to protect seafarers, ships and the goods that they carry and on which we all rely.”
Speaking on behalf of all the signatory associations, ISF president, Spyros M Polemis, explained: “Together we must encourage all governments to do everything necessary to protect the lives of seafarers who are subject to increasingly violent attacks, with over 1,800 kidnapped in the last two years alone. Ninety per cent of world trade is carried by sea and governments have a duty to extend the naval protection being provided – which is currently inadequate – and regain control of the Indian Ocean from a handful of criminals.”
The text of the petition is:
Enough is enough! Governments must act now to fight piracy
Almost every day seafarers are being kidnapped and exposed to an increasing risk of injury or even death
Every day seafarers transport the world’s goods through areas where the risk of pirate attack is increasing
Every day seafarers’ families are suffering worry and uncertainty
Every day the chances of attracting people to jobs at sea – on which all our economies rely – are shrinking
Every day shipping companies and their insurers have to pay for increasing anti-piracy measures, extra fuel and ransoms – costs that are eventually passed on to the consumer
Every day the risk of a major ecological disaster due to an oil spill caused by piracy increases
Every day the chances of a recovery in the world economy are being jeopardised by this threat to world trade
We, the undersigned, urgently call on Governments to do everything possible to protect the thousands of seafarers and the hundreds of ships at risk of attack by pirates by:
dedicating significant resources and concerted efforts to find real solutions to the growing piracy problem;
taking immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families;
working within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people.
Click here to go to the petition.