French support boosts INTERPOL’s global efforts against maritime piracy
Global fight against maritime piracy focus of INTERPOL visit by France’s Special Representative
LYON, France - The Special Representative of France's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in charge of coordination of the international war against piracy, Jocelyne Caballero, has met with INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble as part of the close collaboration between France and the world police body on enhancing international efforts against the threat of maritime piracy.
Ms Caballero and Secretary General Noble, meeting at INTERPOL's General Secretariat headquarters, reviewed the current international strategy against maritime piracy and INTERPOL's maritime piracy projects with which France is closely associated. France has in particular supported INTERPOL's Maritime Piracy programme by financing its EVEXI project (EUR 100,000 in 2011) and by agreeing to second two officials to INTERPOL's programme in 2012.
The EVEXI project aims to establish and promulgate procedures for building the capacity of six East African countries (Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Oman, Seychelles and Tanzania) in maritime piracy intelligence gathering and forensic evidence collection.
With INTERPOL's Maritime Piracy Task Force advocating a global response to improve evidence collection, facilitate data exchange, build regional capabilities and work in partnership, Special Representative Caballero said: "France recognizes INTERPOL's global resources and longstanding commitment to tackling maritime piracy as crucial to the international community's ability to better address maritime piracy and bring those involved before the courts."
With plans by French authorities to make the Gendarmerie Maritime and other French law enforcement agencies available to support INTERPOL Maritime Piracy Incident Response Teams, and implement project EVEXI in addition to training for regional law enforcement agencies, INTERPOL Secretary General Noble lauded France's 'active support' for INTERPOL's maritime piracy programme.
"France recognizes that international law enforcement provides the critical link between arrests made through military interventions and the investigation and prosecution of maritime pirates and associated criminal networks," said the head of INTERPOL.
"A collaborative approach that combines intelligence, resources and strategic partnerships is required against maritime piracy. In this endeavour, INTERPOL's global tools and collaboration with international partners such as France play a crucial role against this transnational crime."
Ms Caballero was accompanied by Alexandre Pichon, head of European and international cooperation at INTERPOL's National Central Bureau in Paris, Lieutenant Colonel Christian Henry of the Gendarmerie Nationale, and by Colonel Jacques Lainé and Lieutenant Colonel Christophe Hy of the Gendarmerie Maritime which is responsible for judicial investigations related to acts of piracy against French ships.
The visit to INTERPOL by Ms Caballero came a week after a Paris court convicted five Somali men for hijacking a sailboat off the African country's coast and kidnapping its two-person crew in the Gulf of Aden three years ago.
The United Nations Security Council last month unanimously endorsed Resolution 2020 (2011) calling on all of its 193 member states to share information with INTERPOL as part of a comprehensive global response to maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.
INTERPOL's General Assembly in Hanoi this year adopted a resolution urging its 190 member countries to share information related to maritime piracy through the circulation of INTERPOL Notices, and to populate INTERPOL's databases, in particular its Global Maritime Piracy and Stolen Vessels databases.