The UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme was created in 2009, as the UNODC "Counter Piracy Programme" (CPP), which was established in response to Security Council resolutions calling for an international response to piracy off the Horn of Africa.

GMCP has provided coordination and leadership, capacity-building assistance to prosecuting States, and  assistance to piracy trials. The first States identified for assistance under this model were Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania. The programme helped these countries by training Judges, prosecutors, prison staff, police and coast guard officers. It also built court-houses and prison facilities, handled the provision of equipment and material for law enforcement agencies and reformed criminal justice legislative.

Furthermore, the GMCP tries to combat piracy by addressing its root causes. For this reason, it helped Somalia, strengthen its law enforcement institutions. Namely, the MCP's activities in the Horn of Africa focus on improving Somalia's authority over its coastline and maritime zones by providing support to meet the needs of South Central Somalia, Galmudug, Puntland and Somaliland respectively.

Today, GMCP continues its activities. The programme developed activities for counter-piracy in the Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean regions. New initiative have also started in 2014 to address piracy and other maritime crimes in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. Moreover, GMCP expands in the Indian Ocean region to discuss new approaches to combat maritime crimes.