Jun 12, 2009

Australia to join United Nations anti-piracy fight

Australia to join United Nations anti-piracy fight

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

12 June 2009

Australia has strengthened its commitment to international efforts to combat piracy off the Horn of Africa.

Australia will provide $500,000, as well as skills and expertise, to the Joint European Commission/United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) Counter Piracy Program to assist Kenyan authorities in receiving and processing apprehended piracy suspects.

Australia will provide an official through the Office of the Inspector of Transport Security and the Australian Federal Police to work with the UNODC in the Nairobi Office in Kenya on dealing with piracy in the region.

The Officer will work with local authorities in Kenya and other countries in the region in dealing with piracy.

International Maritime Bureau figures show more than 100 ships were attacked and 42 hijacked in the Gulf of Aden and the Somalia region in 2008, with some 290 reported cases of piracy last year.

There have been around 60 attacks and 25 successful hijackings this year.

This pledge reinforces Australia’s contribution to the international effort to combat piracy.

On 29 May, the Government announced that Australia would contribute Australian Defence Force resources to this effort, including tasking the Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Toowoomba and RAAF AP-3C Orion patrol aircraft to anti-piracy operations in the region.