UN Security Council condemns piracy off Somalia coast

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] on Wednesday condemned [statement; press release] piracy and acts of armed robbery against vessels off the coast of Somalia. The Security Council urged the international community to develop a comprehensive response to discourage these acts. The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2077, which renewed pressure on States and regional organizations to fight sea crimes. The resolution called on member states to enact domestic legislation that criminalizes piracy and to assist Somalia in prosecuting pirates. The Security Council requests that Somalia work with the UN to enact a comprehensive set of anti-piracy laws. The resolution also called on States to investigate illegal fishing and dumping. The resolution states:

He also stressed that allegations of illegal fishing and illegal dumping off the Somali coast, as presented in the Secretary-General's report, must be fully investigated, lest the impression be created that the Council was willing to act to curb piracy only because the vital economic interests of some countries were threatened. He added that the absence of a declared maritime economic zone must not be used to justify the illegal exploitation of Somali resources. There was nothing in the Convention on the Law of the Sea that suggested that the existence of such a zone was subjected to its declaration by the coastal State.
The resolution said that anti-piracy laws and maritime law enforcement are an integral part of combating piracy.

Earlier this week UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson stressed the need to address the causes of maritime piracy [JURIST report] with a "multi-dimensional approach". Addressing the UN Security Council, Eliasson noted three areas of concern that warrant immediate action: 1) better coordination, information-sharing and trust-building among countries and agencies involved in counter-piracy operations; 2) stronger capacity to prosecute piracy cases and imprison those convicted in accordance with international human rights standards; and 3) the establishment of a framework governing the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board vessels. Last month the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg issued sentences [JURIST report] for 10 Somalis who were involved in the hijacking the German freighter MS Taipan off the coast of Somalia two years ago.

 

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