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Cablegate: Somalia - Un Details Piracy Conference Plans

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7718
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STATE FOR AF/E AND A/S FRAZER
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT PREL PINS PGOV SO
SUBJECT: SOMALIA - UN DETAILS PIRACY CONFERENCE PLANS

REF: NAIROBI 2642

1. Summary: The UN's Somalia political office on November
25 outlined its plans for a Nairobi conference on Somali
piracy December 10-11. The UN has invited high level
representation from over 50 countries (including the United
States, previously forward via separate email) and
international organizations with a stake in the Horn's
piracy, but it is unclear yet who will come. Day one of the
conference will be technical discussions and recommendations;
the UN hopes political representatives will ratify outcomes
on day two. To frame the conference discussions, the UN is
finalizing a report on Somali piracy, with suggested actions.
A summary of the report and conference agenda will be sent
out by November 26, with the full report available the week
of December 1. Kenya is reconsidering its recently announced
plans to host a separate piracy conference in December
(reftel). End Summary.

2. On November 25 the United Nations Deputy Special
Representative to the Secretary General for Somalia Charles
Petrie convened a meeting to discuss the UN Somalia office's
plans for an international conference on Somali piracy,
scheduled for December 10-11 in Nairobi. Petrie said Kenya
was reconsidering their wish to host a separate piracy
conference this month (reftel); he expected they would
support the UN-sponsored gathering instead. To guide the
conference and make recommendations for combating piracy,
Petrie said the UN had contracted a study of Somalia's piracy
which will be finalized the week of December 1, but an
abbreviated copy, along with the meeting's agenda, will be
released by November 26 (post will forward as soon as
available). Day one of the conference will focus on
technical discussions and the report's action
recommendations; Petrie hopes the political representation
will adopt many of the recommendations on day two.

3. Over 50 countries and many international organizations
have been invited to the UN-sponsored conference. In
addition to countries in the region, Indian Ocean and Pacific
Rim countries are included, as are Persian Gulf states and
countries with a naval presence in the Indian Ocean and Gulf
of Aden. Regional governments are likely to send ministers,
Petrie said, but there have been few firm responses yet.

4. Reiterating that a 10-12 page summary of the UN-sponsored
piracy report will be available by November 26, the report's
drafting team leader briefly highlighted its research,
findings, and proposed actions. The report covers the
origins of Somali piracy and compares it to other regions'
sea piracy. It examines Somali piracy's organization and
methodology, its destructive economic and humanitarian costs,
and possible connections to terrorists. The report surveys
the applicable international and regional government's laws
concerning piracy. Finally, the study contains 39
recommendations for short-, medium- and long-term actions to
combat piracy.

5. Petrie stressed the conference will identify concrete
steps, or "practical actions" that can be taken on the
ground, and these hopefully will be ratified by the political
representation on day two. He welcomed internationals to
weigh in and help shape the recommendations to make them more
feasible and achievable, once the report's abbreviated copy
is released. Post will forward conference materials as they
are released.
RANNEBERGER

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