Oceans Beyond Piracy in ground-breaking counter-piracy contribution
COLORADO, USA November 16, 2011-- An important milestone for international efforts to fight piracy was reached through a joint contribution from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP). Both groups have agreed to fund the "Somalia Beyond Piracy" media and advocacy plan developed by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nairobi with a significant contribution marking the first public-private financial contribution to international counter-piracy efforts.
The $800,000 contribution from the UK Government is part of the larger UK counter-piracy financial package announced in October 2011. OBP is contributing $100,000, which will be presented through OBP’s partner foundation, The Arsenault Family Foundation. The specific initiatives to be funded include Somali-authored messages in local media outlets, and engagement with local communities to voice the Somali viewpoint on the dangers of piracy.
"The partnership between governments and private entities shows how different stakeholders can work together for a common cause. We hope this is just the first of many contributions along these lines and I urge other interested parties to consider similar public-private partnerships to contribute to the important efforts being done to address the continuing problem of maritime piracy," stated Chris Holtby, representing the UK FCO and Chairman of Working Group 1 of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
The UNODC Advocacy Plan is expected to become an integral part of the work carried forward by Working Group Four of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. According to the program’s coordinator, Alan Cole, "We have worked closely with many international partners, including the UK FCO and Oceans Beyond Piracy to ensure that the Advocacy Plan will support the overall efforts of the Contact Group. We also consider it very important to give a Somali voice to this challenging issue."
Marcel Arsenault, whose foundation sponsors the Oceans Beyond Piracy Project, believes that the UNODC’s upcoming advocacy campaign is crucial to dissuade Somalis from pursuing piracy. "We are happy to support this effort, which represents multiple stakeholders coming together. We see this partnership as a way to encourage non-traditional stakeholders to contribute to sustainable solutions to piracy."