This is a major development in the ongoing struggle to unify anti-piracy task forces across deeply divided regions. The UN Security Council [official website] last November condemned [statement; press release] piracy and acts of armed robbery against vessels off the coast of Somalia. It urged the international community to develop a comprehensive response [JURIST report] to discourage these acts. This summit is one of the first to do so, in response to resolution 2077 [text]. The resolution called on member states to enact domestic legislation that criminalizes piracy and to assist Somalia in prosecuting pirates. Also last November 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. The month previous 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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