23 November 2010
Security Council
SC/10092

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6429th Meeting (AM)


 ‘Condemning and Deploring’ Piracy, Armed Robbery Off Somalia’s Coast, Security


Council Re-Authorizes States, Regional Groups to Intervene at Sea, as Needed


Condemning and deploring all acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels in the waters off the coast of Somalia, the Security Council today extended for 12 months its authorizations granted to States and regional organizations cooperating with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in the fight against such acts.


The authorizations are set out in paragraph 10 of Security Council resolution 1846 (2008) and paragraph 6 of Council resolution 1897 (2009), and include the authorization for States and regional organizations cooperating with the Somali Transitional Federal Government to enter Somalia’s territorial waters and use “all necessary means” — such as deploying naval vessels and military aircraft, as well as seizing and disposing of boats, vessels, arms and related equipment used for piracy.  (See Press Releases SC/9514 and SC/9799)


Unanimously adopting resolution 1950 (2010) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council stressed the need for the international community to tackle piracy and its underlying causes — including the ongoing instability in Somalia — in a comprehensive response.  It noted with concern that escalating ransom payments and the lack of enforcement of the arms embargo established by resolution 733 (1992) were fuelling the growth of piracy in the area and called upon all States to fully cooperate with the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group regarding possible arms embargo violations.


In its resolution, the Council called on Member States to assist Somalia, at the request of the Transitional Federal Government, in strengthening capacity in the country, including regional authorities, to bring to justice those involved in piracy who were using Somali territory for planning or undertaking their criminal acts.  It called upon all States to cooperate in determining jurisdiction and in the investigation and prosecution of all persons responsible for acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia, as well as to criminalize piracy under their domestic law.


The Council last considered the problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia at its meeting of 8 November.  (Press Release SC/10079)


The meeting was called to order at 10:08 a.m. and closed at 10:10 a.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1950 (2010) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Somalia, especially resolutions 1814 (2008), 1816 (2008), 1838 (2008), 1844 (2008), 1846 (2008), 1851 (2008), 1897 (2009) and 1918 (2010), as well as the statement of its President (S/PRST/2010/16) of 25 August 2010,


Continuing to be gravely concerned by the ongoing threat that piracy and armed robbery at sea against vessels pose to the prompt, safe and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia and the region, to the safety of seafarers and other persons, to international navigation and the safety of commercial maritime routes, and to other vulnerable ships, including fishing activities in conformity with international law, and also gravely concerned by the extended range of the piracy threat into the Western Indian Ocean and the increase in pirate capacities,


Expressing concern about the reported involvement of children in piracy off the coast of Somalia,


Recognizing that the ongoing instability in Somalia contributes to the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and stressing the need for a comprehensive response to tackle piracy and its underlying causes by the international community,


Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, including Somalia’s rights with respect to offshore natural resources, including fisheries, in accordance with international law, and stressing the importance of preventing, in accordance with international law, illegal fishing and illegal dumping, including toxic substances,


Further reaffirming that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (“The Convention”), sets out the legal framework applicable to combating piracy and armed robbery at sea, as well as other ocean activities,


Again taking into account the crisis situation in Somalia, and the limited capacity of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to interdict, or upon interdiction to prosecute pirates or to patrol or secure the waters off the coast of Somalia, including the international sea lanes and Somalia’s territorial waters,


Noting the several requests from the TFG for international assistance to counter piracy off its coast, including the letter of 20 October 2010 from the Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations expressing the appreciation of the TFG to the Security Council for its assistance, expressing the TFG’s willingness to consider working with other States and regional organizations to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and requesting that the provisions of resolution 1897 (2009) be renewed for an additional 12 months,


Commending the efforts of the EU operation Atalanta, North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations Allied Protector and Ocean Shield, Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 151, and other States acting in a national capacity in cooperation with the TFG and each other, to suppress piracy and to protect vulnerable ships transiting through the waters off the coast of Somalia, and welcoming the efforts of individual countries, including China, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, which have deployed ships and/or aircraft in the region, as stated in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2010/394),


Welcoming the capacity-building efforts made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Djibouti Code Trust Fund (multi-donor trust fund — Japan initiated) and the Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and recognizing the need for all engaged international and regional organizations to cooperate fully,


Noting with concern that the continuing limited capacity and domestic legislation to facilitate the custody and prosecution of suspected pirates after their capture has hindered more robust international action against the pirates off the coast of Somalia, and in some cases has led to pirates being released without facing justice, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to support prosecution, and reiterating that, consistent with the provisions of the Convention concerning the repression of piracy, the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (“SUA Convention”) provides for parties to create criminal offences, establish jurisdiction and accept delivery of persons responsible for or suspected of seizing or exercising control over a ship by force or threat thereof or any other form of intimidation,


Underlining the importance of continuing to enhance the collection, preservation and transmission to competent authorities of evidence of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and welcoming the ongoing work of IMO, INTERPOL and industry groups to develop guidance to seafarers on preservation of crime scenes following acts of piracy, and noting the importance for the successful prosecution of acts of piracy of enabling seafarers to give evidence in criminal proceedings,


Commending the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Seychelles’ efforts to prosecute suspected pirates in their national courts, welcoming the engagement of the Republic of Mauritius, and noting with appreciation the assistance being provided by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and other international organizations and donors, in coordination with the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (“CGPCS”), to support Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, and other States in the region, including Yemen, to take steps to prosecute, or incarcerate in a third state after prosecution elsewhere, captured pirates consistent with applicable international human rights law, and emphasizing the need for States and international organizations to further enhance international efforts in this regard,


Welcoming the readiness of the national and regional administrations of Somalia to cooperate with each other and with States who have prosecuted suspected pirates with a view to enabling convicted pirates to be repatriated back to Somalia under suitable prisoner transfer arrangements, consistent with applicable international law including international human rights law,


Welcoming the report of the Secretary General (S/2010/394), as requested by resolution 1918 (2010), and the ongoing efforts within the CGPCS and the United Nations Secretariat to explore possible additional mechanisms to effectively prosecute persons suspected of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia,


Stressing the need for States to consider possible methods to assist the seafarers who are victims of pirates, and welcoming in this regard the ongoing work within the CGPCS and the International Maritime Organization on developing guidelines for the care of seafarers and other persons who have been subjected to acts of piracy,


Further noting with appreciation the ongoing efforts by UNODC and UNDP to support efforts to enhance the capacity of the corrections system in Somalia, including regional authorities notably with the support of the Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, to incarcerate convicted pirates consistent with applicable international human rights law,


Bearing in mind the Djibouti Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, and recognizing the efforts of signatory States to develop the appropriate regulatory and legislative frameworks to combat piracy, enhance their capacity to patrol the waters of the region, interdict suspect vessels, and prosecute suspected pirates,


Emphasizing that peace and stability within Somalia, the strengthening of State institutions, economic and social development and respect for human rights and the rule of law are necessary to create the conditions for a durable eradication of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and further emphasizing that Somalia’s long-term security rests with the effective development by the TFG of the National Security Force and Somali Police Force, in the framework of the Djibouti Agreement and in line with a national security strategy,


Determining that the incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia exacerbate the situation in Somalia, which continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


“1.   Reiterates that it condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels in the waters off the coast of Somalia;


“2.   Recognizes that the ongoing instability in Somalia is one of the underlying causes of the problem of piracy and contributes to the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and stresses the need for a comprehensive response to tackle piracy and its underlying causes by the international community;


“3.   Notes again its concern regarding the findings contained in the 20 November 2008 report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia (S/2008/769, page 55) that escalating ransom payments and the lack of enforcement of the arms embargo established by resolution 733 (1992) are fuelling the growth of piracy off the coast of Somalia, and calls upon all States to fully cooperate with the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group including on information sharing regarding possible arms embargo violations;


“4.   Renews its call upon States and regional organizations that have the capacity to do so, to take part in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, in particular, consistent with this resolution and international law, by deploying naval vessels, arms and military aircraft and through seizures and disposition of boats, vessels, arms and other related equipment used in the commission of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, or for which there are reasonable grounds for suspecting such use;


“5.   Commends the work of the CGPCS to facilitate coordination in order to deter acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, in cooperation with the IMO, flag States, and the TFG and urges States and international organizations to continue to support these efforts;


“6.   Acknowledges Somalia’s rights with respect to offshore natural resources, including fisheries, in accordance with international law, recalls the importance of preventing, in accordance with international law, illegal fishing and illegal dumping, including toxic substances, and calls upon States and interested organizations, including the IMO, to provide technical assistance to Somalia, including regional authorities, and nearby coastal States upon their request to enhance their capacity to ensure coastal and maritime security, including combating piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali and nearby coastlines, and stresses the importance of coordination in this regard through the CGPCS;


“7.   Encourages Member States to continue to cooperate with the TFG in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea, notes the primary role of the TFG in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea, and decides that for a further period of twelve months from the date of this resolution to renew the authorizations as set out in paragraph 10 of resolution 1846 (2008) and paragraph 6 of resolution 1851 (2008), as renewed by resolution 1897 (2009), granted to States and regional organizations cooperating with the TFG in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, for which advance notification has been provided by the TFG to the Secretary-General;


“8.   Affirms that the authorizations renewed in this resolution apply only with respect to the situation in Somalia and shall not affect the rights or obligations or responsibilities of Member States under international law, including any rights or obligations, under the Convention, with respect to any other situation, and underscores in particular that this resolution shall not be considered as establishing customary international law; and affirms further that such authorizations have been renewed only following the receipt of the 20 October 2010 letter conveying the consent of the TFG;


“9.   Further affirms that the measures imposed by paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and further elaborated upon by paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1425 (2002) do not apply to weapons and military equipment destined for the sole use of Member States and regional organizations undertaking measures in accordance with paragraph 7 above or to supplies of technical assistance to Somalia solely for the purposes set out in paragraph 6 above which have been exempted from those measures in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraphs 11 (b) and 12 of resolution 1772 (2007);


“10.  Requests that cooperating States take appropriate steps to ensure that the activities they undertake pursuant to the authorizations in paragraph 7 do not have the practical effect of denying or impairing the right of innocent passage to the ships of any third State;


“11.  Calls on Member States to assist Somalia, at the request of the TFG and with notification to the Secretary-General, to strengthen capacity in Somalia, including regional authorities, to bring to justice those who are using Somali territory to plan, facilitate, or undertake criminal acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, and stresses that any measures undertaken pursuant to this paragraph shall be consistent with applicable international human rights law;


“12.  Calls upon all States, and in particular flag, port, and coastal States, States of the nationality of victims, and perpetrators of piracy and armed robbery, and other States with relevant jurisdiction under international law and national legislation, to cooperate in determining jurisdiction, and in the investigation and prosecution of all persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, including anyone who incites or facilitates an act of piracy, consistent with applicable international law including international human rights law to ensure that all pirates handed over to judicial authorities are subject to a judicial process, and to render assistance by, among other actions, providing disposition and logistics assistance with respect to persons under their jurisdiction and control, such as victims and witnesses and persons detained as a result of operations conducted under this resolution;


“13.  Calls upon all States to criminalize piracy under their domestic law and to favourably consider the prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of convicted, pirates apprehended off the coast of Somalia, consistent with applicable international law including international human rights law;


“14.  Reaffirms its interest in the continued consideration of all seven options for prosecuting suspected pirates described in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2010/394) which provide for different levels of international participation, taking into account further new information and observations from the Secretary-General based on the consultations being conducted by his Special Adviser on Legal Issues Related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, with a view to taking further steps to ensure that pirates are held accountable, emphasizing the need for strengthened cooperation of States, regional, and international organizations in achieving this goal, and encourages the CGPCS to continue its discussions in this regard;


“15.  Urges all States to take appropriate actions under their existing domestic law to prevent the illicit financing of acts of piracy and the laundering of its proceeds;


“16.  Urges States, in cooperation with INTERPOL and Europol, to further investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the coast of Somalia, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation;


“17.  Stresses in this context the need to support the investigation and prosecution of those who illicitly finance, plan, organize, or unlawfully profit from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia;


“18.  Commends the establishment of the Trust Fund Supporting the Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Djibouti Code Trust Fund (multi-donor trust fund — Japan initiated) and urges both state and non-state actors affected by piracy, most notably the international shipping community, to contribute to them;


“19.  Urges States parties to the Convention and the SUA Convention to fully implement their relevant obligations under these Conventions and customary international law and cooperate with the UNODC, IMO, and other States and other international organizations to build judicial capacity for the successful prosecution of persons suspected of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;


“20.  Welcomes the revisions by the IMO to its recommendations and guidance on preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery against ships, underlines the importance of implementing such recommendations and guidance by all stakeholders, including the shipping industry, and urges States, in collaboration with the shipping and insurance industries, and the IMO, to continue to develop and implement avoidance, evasion, and defensive best practices and advisories to take when under attack or when sailing in the waters off the coast of Somalia, and further urges States to make their citizens and vessels available for forensic investigation as appropriate at the first port of call immediately following an act or attempted act of piracy or armed robbery at sea or release from captivity;


“21.  Requests States and regional organizations cooperating with the TFG to inform the Security Council and the Secretary-General in 9 months of the progress of actions undertaken in the exercise of the authorizations provided in paragraph 7 above and further requests all States contributing through the CGPCS to the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia, including Somalia and other States in the region, to report by the same deadline on their efforts to establish jurisdiction and cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of piracy;


“22.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council within 11 months of the adoption of this resolution on the implementation of this resolution and on the situation with respect to piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;


“23.  Expresses its intention to review the situation and consider, as appropriate, renewing the authorizations provided in paragraph 7 above for additional periods upon the request of the TFG;


“24.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


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For information media • not an official record