Print  |  E-mail Article  |  Close Window   AMO Currents  -  Posted: September 27, 2010

Piracy petition presented to IMO with more than 900,000 signatures

Representatives from seafarers' unions, ship operators and others Sept. 23 presented the "End Piracy Now" petition with 930,406 signatures to International Maritime Organization Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos in London, UK.

The event, which took place on the United Nations designated World Maritime Day, coincided with the presentation of the petition to governments worldwide.

The petition (www.endpiracypetition.org) was launched just four months ago by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) as the center piece of a campaign to persuade all governments to commit the resources needed to end the increasing problem of Somalia-based piracy. The original goal was to achieve half a million signatures.

The campaign calls on governments 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 ITF Seafarers' Section reported Sept. 23 that some 354 seafarers and 16 ships are currently being held hostage in Somalia. Meanwhile, pirates are being released unprosecuted, free to re-offend.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: "At a time when some countries are actively escorting merchant ships and pursuing pirates and a few - too few - are prosecuting them when caught, the majority, including many of those who make the most from shipping, are doing little or nothing. For us, this campaign is about making everyone step up and shoulder their responsibilities."

A video posted by the ITF is available online.