Copenhagen (ANN)BIMCO will be represented when Working Group 2 (WG2) of the UN Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (UNCGPCS) holds its 6th meeting on 2-3 November 2010 in Copenhagen. WG2 consists primarily of representatives
from UN member States and has been tasked by the UNCGPCS to deal with legal issues relating to piracy, including measures to effectively arrest, detain and prosecute pirates.
In accordance with the UNCGPCS’ decision in June 2010 to prolong the mandate of WG2 and to approve its future tasks, discussions at the upcoming WG2 meeting will focus on progress in efforts by States to facilitate national prosecution; human rights considerations in relation to apprehension and detention; incarceration and post trial transfer; and options to further the aim of prosecuting pirates.
Discussions at the last WG2 meeting in May 2010 concentrated among other issues on the question of securing the appearance of seafarers in court as witnesses, where it was agreed to cooperate with UNCGPCS WG3 on industry matters in order to consider possible incentives to facilitate this process and urge the industry to launch an information campaign on this issue. This will be carried forward based on an update from IMO on ongoing work in WG3. BIMCO continues to urge members to bear in mind the importance of active participation as witnesses for the successful prosecution of pirates.
As regards prosecution, discussions on options to further this aim will be based on two presentations dealing respectively with rights and obligations of flag States with regard to prosecution of pirates and the UN Secretary-General’s report of August 2010 outlining seven possible options to further the aim of prosecuting and imprisoning pirates. These options include, in particular, creation of special domestic chambers possibly with international components, a regional tribunal or an international tribunal and corresponding imprisonment arrangements.
The report is the result of a request to the UN Secretary-General, included in UN Security Council Resolution 1918 of 27 April 2010, to undertake such work. After its last meeting, WG2 forwarded the results of its previous discussions on the issue of a mechanism for prosecution to the UN Secretariat in order for these results to be included in the foundation for the Secretary-General’s report. Similarly WG2 will, following this 6th meeting, send an updated message to the UNCGPCS taking into account both the options set out in the UN Secretary-General’s report and WG2’s own deliberations in this respect.
In relation to the discussions on prosecution, the UN Secretary-General’s recently appointed Special Adviser on Legal Issues related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Mr. Jack Lang, will present WG2 with an outline of his work carried out so far.
WG2 is chaired by Denmark and the results of the meeting will be presented by the Chairman at the next meeting of the UNCGPCS. Members will be informed in due course about the results of the WG2 meeting.