Thank OLA for the comprehensive report.
The report, in its analytical approach, reflects the difficulty of the subject that we are addressing today. Piracy off the coast of Somalia is indeed a complex issue, as the Council has acknowledged, in particular in its resolution 1976 of last April. A solution to this problem requires responding to a variety of challenges, of social, economic and security nature. The report of the Special Advisor of the SG, Mr. Jack Lang, was particularly eloquent in this regard.
One of the most important proposals to fight the piracy threat in this region was the establishment of an extraterritorial Somali Court, functioning in Arusha. The solution, long defended by my country, represents the most practical way of swiftly addressing the situation of impunity for piracy in the region, through a Somali solution. A solution that is flexible enough to help attract international capacity support, capable of responding to the needs as they evolve on the ground, and also able to be rapidly set up, since it could rely on existing facilities. It was with this in mind that the SC requested the SG, in resolution 1976, to report on the modalities for the establishment of specialized Somali courts to try suspected pirates both in Somalia and in the region, including an extraterritorial Somali specialized anti-piracy court, consistent with applicable human rights law and with the participation of international personnel and other international support.
The thorough report presented by OLA which deals with the many components of the solution and identifies exhaustively the difficulties and challenges ahead. In particular we note the complex political context, the security situation in Somalia and the need for stabilization in the country and, in particular, of political will for such a solution to be viable. We encourage OLA to pursue the efforts in this regard, in particular in its contacts with the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in the months to come to determine, in cooperation with the Somali authorities, a feasible roadmap of activities conducive to the establishment of a Somali judicial solution to piracy, including through the definition of the necessary legal framework.
We welcome also the positive response by the government of Tanzania for the proposal to establish an extraterritorial Somali specialized anti-piracy court in Arusha. This solution, building on existing premises and capacity in the existing ICTR premises seems to be a practical way forward. We note also the convergence of this aim with the downsizing and completion strategy of ICTR and the possibility of using available space in court rooms and facilities in the near future, not losing sight, naturally, of the security needs to be safeguarded. We thank ICTR for its cooperation and positive approach and welcome further efforts in evaluating concrete needs to accommodate this solution. We commend also the active support of UNODC in training judiciary activities and in prompting the necessary debate over the future needs for such a solution.
To fight the scourge of piracy we should concentrate our efforts in targeting those suspected of financing and planning acts of piracy. They are the most responsible and the real “minds” behind the majority of piracy incidents off the coast of Somalia and should, therefore, be the principal aim of our action. As the report underlines, consultations with a number of member Sates, Interpol, UNODC, DPA and the Monitoring Group of the SC committee established pursuant to resolution 751 suggest that the entities of key leaders of pirate networks and their locations and political connections are widely known. Many of them are reportedly within Somalia. Therefore any solution that is aimed at prosecuting these persons – most responsible – cannot be detached from the legal environment of where they actually live. That is why a solution has to be based on Somalia law, even if, initially, through an extraterritorial court justified by the current security situation in Somalia and the need to ensure safe and swift investigation and prosecution. Such a solution would, indeed, allow for investigations to be conducted securely from the outside, but under a legal framework that would facilitate the execution of the necessary procedural acts in Somalia, including arrest warrants.
Finding a solution to counter impunity for piracy was never easy. Moreover, in the particular situation of the Somali conflict and security environment in the country, the challenge is even more complex. But, we remain convinced that any solution to piracy off the coast of Somalia can only be found in land. The capacities to be established now are to benefit this country, because only by supporting Somalia to overcome, by its own, this challenge can the international community put an end to the piracy scourge in the region.
We encourage and strongly support OLA to pursue all the necessary efforts with this goal in mind.