On the 7th of July, a day ahead of the CGPCS plenary, the working groups on capacity building and on operations met at the representation of the European Union in New York. The working group on capacity building took stock of current efforts with a focus on Somalia. The main capacity builders, including, Eucap Nestor, UNODC, UNSOM, OBP, and MASE provided updates, as did the Federal Government of Somalia, and the Somali regions, Puntland, Galmadug, as well as Somaliland. The core problem that was identified was the multiplicity of coordination mechanisms that aim at improving the Somali maritime security sector. As one participant put it, “it is time that coordination mechanisms start coordinating among themselves.” It was decided to rationalize the coordination process, so everyone would work with one policy document. This would not only allow to better monitor progress, but also the first steps of an exist strategy of the working group. A crucial issue that continues to complicate the issue is how to include Somaliland in the structures. In addition also the new coast guard of Somalia was discussed.
The meeting clearly focussed on Somalia, and the need of moving forward. The capacity building neds of the broader Western Indian Ocean region received less attention.
This was reversed in the meeting of the working group on operations which concerned mainly developments in the region. Two items made the heart of the discussion. Firstly, the debate on the High Risk Area. Continuing the process launched by the chairmen in 2014, SHADE as well as the government of India presented their threat assessments. These assessments were not further discussed, since this item is part of the plenary agenda. The second topic of discussion were the results of the Technical Subgroup on Maritime Situational Awareness. Jon Huggins from Oceans Beyond Piracy presented the results and the document was adopted. The Document will be available through this website soon after the plenary closes.