As we approach September 2011 we are reminded that this is the month World Maritime Day is celebrated. However it is sadly amusing to find out that even this 'Day' cannot be settled on!!
According to the United Nations (UN) the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will celebrate it during the week of September 26 to 30. Then it is further stated that it is being celebrated at the IMO Headquarters in London, England on Thursday 29 September 2011. This somehow it seems to NAUTICAL LOG reflects the reluctance to commit displayed by the IMO under its current "leadership". Just to further confuse a confused seafarer the 'timeanddate'® website gives the 'Day' as Thursday 22 September 2011. So we have a choice it seems to have either an early, late or on time and date!!
Of course the topic of the Day is Piracy, one wonders why the IMO bothers since little or nothing has been done under this current "leadership". A change of Leadership is due at the end of the year so one presumes this is the last stand before departure. Meanwhile according to Save Our Seafarers® (SOS) there are still 400 seafarers held captive, both ashore and off the coast of Somalia, in the most deplorable and degrading conditions.
To quote the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
"Piracy is a global menace. We need to confront it with a strategy that focuses on deterrence, security, the rule of law and development. I commend the International Maritime Organization for its efforts to strengthen global cooperation on this challenge."
Very nicely put in the best diplomatic speak, as one would expect from the world's leading waffle house. However this statement was made on 3 February 2011 and we still have 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by these thugs off Somalia.
The UN-IMO goes on with a list of diplomatic points (waffles?) and we quote:
- Increase pressure at the political level to secure the immediate release of all hostages being held by pirates - seafarers in the main.
- Review and improve guidance to the industry and promote full compliance by ships with all recommended preventive, evasive and defensive measures.
- Promote greater levels of support from navies
- Promote anti-piracy coordination and co-operation between and among States, regions and organizations.
- Build the capacity of States in piracy-infested regions of the world and elsewhere to deter, interdict and bring to justice those who commit acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships.
- Equally importantly, provide care for those attacked or hijacked by pirates and for their families.
Let us take a look at these six (6) points:
- Somalia does not even have a government - so much for that approach.
- Really - vessels on the Coast of West Africa have been instructed NOT to report pirate attacks so as not to increase marine insurance premiums.
- Good luck on that one.
- 'Extreme prejudice' the attacking thugs - justice is then served.
- You mean that is NOT being done already.
According to SOS® there are 400 of our fellow seafarers being held captive by Somalia based pirates both ashore and off their coast. Also pirate attacks are occuring off the Coast of West Africa and going unreported to save on marine insurance premiums. Stop the "Diplomatic Speak" and take effective action to release the captive seafarers.