India becomes co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under CGPCS

Posted on:07 Jun 2016 18:02:38
India becomes co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under CGPCS
07 June 2016 Current Affairs: India became the co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) on 4 June 2016.

This decision was taken through a consensus during the 19th Plenary Session of the CGPCS that took place in Mahe, Seychelles during 31 May to 3 June 2016.

Steps taken by Indian Navy to ensure safety at Somalian Coast and in the Indian Ocean Region : The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have played a very important role by enhanced patrolling in the high seas and providing armed naval escorts to ships moving in the area.  To protect Indian ships and Indian citizens employed in sea-faring duties, Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden from 23 October 2008. In addition to escorting Indian-flagged ships, ships of other countries have also been escorted by the Indian Navy. 

Merchant ships are currently being escorted along the entire length (490 nm long and 20 nm wide) of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) which is heavily patrolled by Indian Navy. To maintain high degree of alertness in the region, around 19 coastal security operations and exercises have been undertaken over the past year. 

Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) :  It is a coalition of states, international organisations, the private sector and civil society that came together to fight piracy together in a coordinated manner.

It was established in response to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1851 (2008), later recalled and replaced with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1918 (2010). It works on the basis of Contact Group model that facilitates discussion and coordination of actions among states and organizations to suppress Somali piracy.

Till now, more than 60 countries and international organizations, including India, have become part of this forum. Seychelles is the current Chairman of the CGPCS for the biennium 2016-17.

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