Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni called upon the relevant institutions, including government agencies and the media, to work together to reduce the incidence of robbery in and around Bangladesh waters at sea.

She made the directive while presiding over an inter-ministerial meeting held at her ministry on Sunday, a press statement said.

Convened by the Foreign Ministry, the meeting was attended by Foreign Secretary Mijarul Qauyes, representatives from Ministries of Shipping, Home, Fisheries and Livestock, Commerce, Armed Forces Division, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Police, Coast Guard, Director General of Shipping, Chittagong and Mongla port authorities and senior officers of the Foreign Ministry.

The foreign minister mentioned that Bangladesh, quite ironically, is termed as a piracy-prone country by the international institutions and media as well whereas as per the definition of piracy, the incidents that are reported by the relevant international organizations like international Maritime Bureau and ReCAAP are mostly petty thefts committed by local needy people, mainly fishermen.

There has not been a single incidence of piracy as per the definition contained in the ‘UNCLOS 1982’ so far in and around the waters of Bangladesh, she said, adding that the relevant government agencies must coordinate with the organizations so that this could be brought to their notice.

Dipu Moni said that the Coast Guard and Port authority must investigate all reported incidents and the relevant organizations should also be asked to verify the information of such events before publishing it on their website.

She also directed Coast Guard and police to make strong drive in reducing incidents of crimes of robbery in the coastal waters of Bangladesh.

BBN/SSR/AD-12Dec11-12:43 am (BST)