December 27th, 2012

Philippines welcome new UN Assistance Program for piracy victims

The Philippine government welcomes the United Nations’ new assistance program for piracy attack victims after proposing and initiating the said program.

Philippine Ambassador to London Enrique Manalo said, “The Philippine government welcomes the decision taken by UNODC to complement its counter-piracy capacity-building projects in the judicial and legal systems of Somalia by creating a new program to assist seafarers who have fallen victims to Somali pirates.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that the new UNODC program for seafarers started with the Philippines proposing that counter-piracy programs funded by UNODC should also address the needs of seafarers who were also affected by the crime.

"The Philippine proposal was conveyed by the Embassy’s Minister Francisco Noel Fernandez at a meeting of WG1 in London in February of last year," the DFA added.

The new program from the UN has already provided repatriation assistance to South Asian crewmembers recently released by Somali pirates.

However, the DFA also said that there are still some 24 Filipino crewmembers that are still being held by Somali pirates. The Philippine government is already working continuously with ship owners and operators to secure their release.