ECSSR: The Challenges of Piracy in Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea

  • 7 June 2013

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) launched a symposium this week, under the title The Challenges of Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. It was organized in collaboration with the Yemen International Affairs Center (YIAC). The symposium has been attended by a number of diplomats, strategic experts, specialists in International Maritime and International Law and counter terrorism.

In his welcoming remarks, His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, assured that crimes of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea have reached unprecedented levels during the last ten years. This increase has made the phenomenon of piracy a real strategic threat to international trade, and a real danger threatening the shipping lanes in this vital region. This criminal activity has become more dangerous because it is linked to groups belonging to global terrorism. Undoubtedly, the volume of world trade passing through the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea makes this region a vital economic conduit and an indispensable international shipping lane. It is the duty of the whole world to guarantee the security of such a vital lane.

Dr. Al-Suwaidi assured in the speech delivered on his behalf at the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan Hall of the ECSSR premises in Abu Dhabi, that the UAE is genuinely interested in fighting the crimes of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea.

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Ahmed Salem Al-Wahishi, Director of the Yemeni International Affairs Center (YIAC), highlighted the issue of the three occupied UAE islands, the Lesser and Greater Tunbs and Abu Musa, which represent a deep concern for regional security, especially in light of continuing Iranian threats and the suspicion surrounding the controversial Iranian nuclear program.

Participants in the symposium also discussed a paper delivered by Dr. Martin Murphy, senior fellow at Atlantic Council of the United States, titled, "Global Initiative Options for the International Navigation Security in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea," in which he stressed that the threat posed by piracy to the Arabian Sea region has been met by an increasingly effective international response in recent years. The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia was established in 2009, and ships of many nations have contributed to the antipiracy mission-28 states have so far deployed ships on anti-piracy missions off the coast of Somalia.