IAPH TAKES ACTION ON PIRACY AND JAPAN DISASTER RELIEF
07/03/2011

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PORTS AND HARBORS ADVOCATES FOR STRONGER ANTI-PIRACY MEASURES AND CONTRIBUTES TO RELIEF FUND FOR VICTIMS OF THE JAPAN EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI

At 27th World Ports Conference, IAPH Issued Resolutions Calling for Tougher Anti-Piracy Agreements and Funding for Japanese Disaster Relief

Online PR News – 03-July-2011 – – TOKYO – June 29, 2011 – Speaking for seaports and maritime organizations around the world, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is calling on nations to adopt tougher measures to combat piracy. The global alliance of ports also approved a donation of $10,000 to help in relief of workers and families recovering from the March earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan.

“The IAPH is an organization committed to promoting peace and prosperity through international trade. The escalation of piracy and the horrendous disasters inflicted upon Japan are two issues that we felt strongly about in terms of expressing the global port community’s concern and support,” said IAPH Secretary General Susumu Naruse.

“Ports and harbors worldwide stand together on the vital issues of safety and human welfare,” added Geraldine Knatz, Executive Director of Port of Los Angeles and newly elected President of the IAPH. “This was something many of us felt strongly about in terms of the global port community reaching out to support the people of Japan.”

At its 27th World Ports Conference in Busan last month, IAPH members also voted to strengthen the organization’s existing anti-piracy campaign and expand fundraising efforts for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Guiding those initiatives are formal resolutions adopted at the conference.

Acts of piracy endangering the lives of seafarers and the safe passage of cargo are on the rise. More than 2,400 crew members have been taken hostage since 2007, and more than 400 attacks per year have been reported since 2009.
The IAPH’s resolution, which builds upon a prior resolution the organization adopted in 2010, urges nations to ratify U.N. conventions related to arresting and prosecuting pirates. It also calls for greater cooperation among naval forces throughout the international community.

Also, in the wake of one of history’s most devastating natural disasters, IAPH members formalized its ongoing efforts to raise money for rebuilding communities in and around Japanese ports. The relief campaign was initiated immediately after the disaster with a $10,000 donation from the Freeport of Riga Authority, Latvia.

As of June 1, contributions from member ports and associations in Kenya, Aruba and Belgium -- as well as the IAPH itself -- have reached $33,000. The IAPH is working with the Japanese Red Cross to help survivors recover from the catastrophic events that left tens of thousands of people dead or missing. An estimated 90,000 people are living in evacuation centers and temporary housing.

More than 700 delegates, speakers and guests from 52 countries attended the May 23-27 conference. Members also adopted resolutions advocating greater safety measures for containers; timely development of port infrastructure; and creation of an Environmental Ship Index (ESI), a key project under the IAPH’s World Ports Climate Initiative. When completed, the ESI will set the international standard for the best environmental practices to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships and port-related operations.

About IAPH
Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a nonprofit global alliance of roughly 230 ports and 150 maritime companies and institutes representing about 90 countries. The IAPH is dedicated to fostering cooperation among ports and harbors and promoting the vital role they play in creating a peaceful, more prosperous world. Based in Tokyo and recognized as the only voice speaking for ports around the globe, the IAPH has Consultative NGO Status from the United Nations and is active in developing international trade and maritime policy. IAPH member ports handle about 80 percent of world container traffic and more than 60 percent of all international maritime trade.

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