I thank the presidency for having organized this briefing and the Legal Counsel, Ms. Patricia O’Brien for her very comprehensive presentation of the Secretary General’s report. I also would like to thank the participation of the Executive Director of UNODC, Ambassador Yuri Fedotov, at this briefing bearing in mind the important role UNODC is called to play in helping build a solution to the problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia.
The SG report is both comprehensive and action oriented. We would like to seize this opportunity to thank the Secretariat and the Office of Legal Affairs for the good work done.
The phenomenon of piracy off the coast of Somalia has its roots in Somalia, feeding itself on lawlessness, on overall impunity and benefitting from the deficient conditions on the ground to fight this scourge through Somali institutions, efficient judiciary and appropriate rule of law system.
The dimension of the problem is such that transcends the territorial reach of Somalia, spilling over its borders with serious negative impact on the neighbouring countries, on the region and on the commercial flux of international navigation that runs through the region. Moreover, the phenomenon continues to spread out epidemically to other countries in the region which have now also to resort to prompt appropriate measures to fight this scourge if they want to avoid becoming themselves easy prey of the strong networks of pirates, with their known links with other types of transnational organized crime, through financing of criminal activities, including terrorism.
The complexity of these activities, the way they may interlink and potentiate dangerous transnational effects advise that the international community remains vigilant and prepared to act whenever the situation so require. There is indeed a role for the SC in monitoring these new threats which have the potential to endanger seriously peace and security. This is why we continue to encourage the Council not to disregard its preventive role in monitoring closely such situations, as we did by organizing last November, under our presidency of the Council, a meeting on “new challenges to peace and security”: having in mind, precisely, the importance for the Council to follow closely these and other potential threats in a preventive perspective.
We are therefore very pleased with the fact that the report dedicates a significant part of its focus and recommendations on the need to strengthen the legal and judiciary capacity in the surrounding countries and regions of Somalia, including in particular Puntland and Somaliland. We fully support these efforts and we think that reinforcing these capacities became now part and parcel of the overall solution to piracy in the region. It is an undeniable fact. The dimension of the problem requires an ensemble of measures and efforts by many actors, and we encourage those that can be undertaken by the countries in the region to help in this regard, with the support of UNDP and UNODC, such as Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius.
We support therefore the recommendations in the report that aim at increasing programmes of assistance and building capacity in these countries and regions to help them to fight impunity for piracy acts.
We find however that more has to be done to involve Somalia in all this efforts. In our view no solution can be sustained unless Somalia, as a whole, is able to cope with this problem: with appropriate Somali law, with Somali courts and judiciary. In all: a Somali solution to a problem that has its roots in Somalia. The important report by Jack Lang pointed out already clearly to this reality. We can not avoid it and the international community has to address it in its comprehensiveness: by helping build the needed capacity in Somalia; by helping it to regain economic and social development and security levels that may enable Somalia to overcome the present difficult situation and avoid becoming more and more an easy target and prey of organized crime and terrorism networks.
In this sense we encourage further efforts by the UN in assisting Somalia in adopting the necessary anti-piracy legislation and in establishing the necessary judiciary structures, with participation of international assistance and relevant expertise, as necessary. Extraterritorial Somali courts, as suggested in the Lang’s report, could also be useful tools, in our view, to be used as a transitory measure, while security conditions on the ground are not yet met. This is particularly important regarding detention and trial of piracy leaders, as a vital approach to disrupt the organized networks that support piracy.
We look forward to the next opportunity to discuss these issues and trust that implementation of the SG’ report recommendations together with the contribution of the international community and the Security Council will make a positive and definitive impact in the fight against impunity for piracy acts in the region.
Je vous remercie, Monsieur le Président.