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By James Canning Sr

Mr Canning Sr is president of FTS – Maritime Security, a US professional security agency that provides anti-piracy escorts for the protection of commercial shipping. In this guest article, he outlines a proposal aimed at achieving a more vigorous and orchestrated response to Somali piracy.

Companies don’t want to pay, they want the UN to pay. The UN stands behind combating piracy, but it doesn’t want to pay.

It has been proven many times over that when governments get involved, it costs more and takes longer.

Using the ICoC (International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers) as a basis, create a code specific for maritime security (this is already being done). Authorize a maritime security council that security companies would work under. The UN would fund the companies to provide protection to commercial shipping.

All shipping companies would be required to pay a fee to the maritime security council to fund the security. For shipping that is owned or controlled by the state, then that country pays the fee.

Keeping this as a civilian force, they could enforce maritime law, provide anti-piracy security and respond to emergencies.

However, they could not be used for any military operations, blockades or peace keeping duties. Strictly a anti-piracy force to serve all shipping regardless of what country they they are from.

Security vessels would fly their own company logo and the IMO flag, not the flag of any nation.

With this, the IMO could create a maritime court and pirates taken into custody. Along with any pirate hunters operating outside the IMO, they could be charged and tried.

Those convicted of causing harm or death to another would face confinement. Those who were caught in the act of piracy would be confined. However, they could be put to work as their punishment by working on IMO projects.

All maritime/piracy issues would be handled by the maritime security council, freeing the burden from the UN and IMO Secretary Generals and other world leaders.

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