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The Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (the Contact Group) was established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1851 (2008) of 16 December 2008 as a voluntary, ad hoc international forum to coordinate international efforts in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia in recognition of the growing impact of piracy on humanitarian aid, commercial shipping, and regional trade in the Horn of Africa. In January 2010, at the request of the Contact Group, the UN Secretary-General established the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (the Trust Fund), which was administered by the UNODC.
Upon decision of the Contact Group in December 2012 the fund administration functions of the Trust Fund have been transferred from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to the UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office).
The overall purpose of the Trust Fund is to help defray the expenses associated with prosecution of suspected pirates, as well as other activities related to implementing the Contact Group’s objectives regarding combating piracy in all its aspects. The Trust Fund shall expand the current possibilities available to both States and the private sector to make tangible contributions to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia; permit the payment of expenses associated with prosecution and detention of suspected pirates as soon as possible; provide for an expedited distribution mechanism to allow for the payment or reimbursement of short-term prosecution related expenses; and support relevant legal capacity building activities.
The the Contact Group encourages “..all States and regional organizations fighting piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia to establish an international cooperation mechanism to act as a common point of contact between and among States, regional and international organizations on all aspects of combating piracy and armed robbery at sea off Somalia’s coast”. The Contact Group is open to participation by any State or international organization making a tangible contribution to the counter-piracy effort, or any State significantly affected by piracy off the coast of Somalia.
At its meeting in Cairo on 17 March 2009, the Contact Group entrusted Working Group 2 on Legal Issues to set up the “legal framework for a possible International Trust Fund”. Pursuant to that mandate, Working Group 2 set out various recommendations in a “Concept Paper”, on the basis of which the Contact Group, in the Communiqué of its 29 May 2009 meeting in New York, requested Working Group 2 to draw up detailed Terms of Reference for the Trust Fund. In December 2012 the Contact Group approved the revised Terms of Reference.
The Trust Fund Board is established to provide strategic direction to the Trust Fund, mobilize resources and make resource allocation decisions. The Board comprises the following Members: the Department of Political Affairs (Chair of the Board), a maximum of 10 members of the Contact Group, and four Recipient UN Organizations (IMO, UNDP, UNODC and UNPOS). The Board Members, determined by the Contact Group and endorsed by the Secretary-General, shall be chosen on the basis of substantial contributions made to counter-piracy efforts, of which three would be from the piracy-affected region. The Board Members from the UN System will serve in an advisory role on the Board to assist in ensuring coherence in programming and thus shall be non-voting members. The UNDP MPTF Office as the Trust Fund Administrator serves as an ex-officio member of the Trust Fund Board.
The Trust Fund Board Chair and Trust Fund Secretariat will be responsible for: chairing Board meetings, secretariat support to Trust Fund Board, informing the Contact Group and the Secretary-General on the Trust Fund’s progress, launching call for inviting project proposals, technical and administrative review of the project proposals, and other operations matters, as appropriate.
The Projects financed by the Trust Fund will be implemented by the Recipient UN Organizations in accordance with their own applicable financial regulations, rules, directives and procedures. The Projects could be executed by an Implementing Partner (the “Implementing Partner”) other than the Recipient UN Organization, such as national authorities, and other national, regional, or international organizations, and non-governmental organizations, with whom the Recipient UN Organizations would establish appropriate modalities.
The UNDP MPTF Office has been appointed the Administrative Agent of the Trust Fund. Its responsibilities include the receipt, administration and management of contributions from Contributors, disbursement of such funds to the Recipient UN Organizations in accordance with the approved programmatic documents; and provision of consolidated financial reports, in accordance with the MOU and SAA, based on reports of the Participating UN Organizations.
Trust Fund Structure and Decision Making
The Trust Fund will have with two Windows:
1) Window A: Prosecution and detention-related activities. The natures of activities under this window are practical, operational and require rapid response, as well as of an ordinary project nature. They include: (i) enabling the payment or reimbursement as rapidly as possible of specific expenses associated with investigating or prosecuting suspected pirates, or imprisoning those convicted; and (ii) enabling other relevant financial support to national jurisdictions, in particular for national legal capacity-building, including supporting evidence gathering capacities, capacities in the field of detention and imprisonment, and mutual legal assistance among and between the States of the region.
2) Window B: Other priority activities. This Window will fund enabling other activities related to implementing Contact Group objectives regarding combating piracy in all its aspects, including public communication initiatives.
The Trust Fund Board will consider project proposals which will be reviewed by the Trust Fund Secretariat within a maximum of two weeks of the proposal having been received. The Board will recommend on projects to receive funding, and on the level of funding to the project (i.e. full, in part, or reject).
Participating Organizations are required to submit final year-end expenditures by April 30 in the following year; Interim expenditure figures are submitted on a voluntary basis and therefore current year figures are not final until the year-end expenditures have been submitted.
Funds with Administrative Agent
Funds with Participating Organizations
Policy and Programme Issues
Mr. Amit Singhal
Trust Fund Board Secretariat,
Fund Administration Issues: International Account
Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, UNDP,
Ms. Olga Aleshina, Senior Portfolio Manager
Mr. Aamir Maqsood Khan, Finance Specialist
Ms. Patricia Ababio, Finance Associate