27 April 2010
Security Council
SC/9913

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

Security Council

6301st Meeting (AM)


Security Council, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1918 (2010),


Calls on All States to Criminalize Piracy under National Laws


Affirming that the failure to prosecute persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia undermined international anti-piracy efforts, the Security Council called on all States this morning to criminalize piracy under their respective domestic laws.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1918 (2010) the Council also called on all States to consider favourably the prosecution of piracy suspects and the imprisonment of convicted pirates apprehended off the Somali coast.


Welcoming the progress being made towards implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Djibouti Code of Conduct, the Council further called upon participants to implement it fully as soon as possible.


The Council requested the Secretary-General to present within three months a report on possible options to further the aim of prosecuting and imprisoning pirates, including, in particular, options for the creation of special domestic chambers, possibly with international components, a regional tribunal, or an international tribunal to that end.


Following adoption, the representative of the Russian Federation noted the resolution’s importance against the background of the growing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean.  The Council had sent an important message that the international community was determined to combat impunity.


Uganda’s representative emphasized the international nature of the problem, saying it required international anti-piracy efforts.  A more effective and comprehensive approach was to address its root causes, especially the instability in Somalia, which called for greater support for the Transitional Federal Government and for building national institutions.


The meeting started at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:13 a.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1918 (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) and 1897 (2009),


Continuing to be gravely concerned by the threat that piracy and armed robbery at sea against vessels pose to the situation in Somalia and other States in the region, as well as to international navigation and the safety of commercial maritime routes,


Reaffirming that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (“the Convention”), in particular its articles 100, 101 and 105, sets out the legal framework applicable to combating piracy and armed robbery at sea, as well as other ocean activities,


Reaffirming also that the authorizations renewed in resolution 1897 (2009) apply only with respect to the situation in Somalia and shall not affect the rights, obligations or responsibilities of Member States under international law, including any rights or obligations under the Convention, with respect to any other situation, and underscoring in particular that resolution 1897 shall not be considered as establishing customary international law,


Stressing the need to address the problems caused by the limited capacity of the judicial system of Somalia and other States in the region to effectively prosecute suspected pirates,


Noting with appreciation the assistance being provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other international organizations and donors, in coordination with the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (“CGPCS”), to enhance the capacity of the judicial and the corrections systems in Somalia, Kenya, Seychelles and other States in the region to prosecute suspected, and imprison convicted, pirates consistent with applicable international human rights law,


Commending the role 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 Transitional Federal Government (the TFG) and each other, in suppressing piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, including by bringing persons suspected of piracy to justice,


Commending the efforts of the Republic of Kenya to date to prosecute suspected pirates in its national courts and imprison convicted persons, and encouraging Kenya to continue these efforts, while acknowledging the difficulties Kenya encounters in this regard,


Also commending the efforts to date of other States to prosecute suspected pirates in their national courts,


Acknowledging the decision of the Seychelles to engage in the prosecution of suspected pirates, and welcoming in particular their decision on 6 February 2010 to consider hosting a regional prosecution centre,


Commending the decision by the CGPCS to create the International Trust Fund supporting initiatives of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia administered by the UNODC to defray the expenses associated with prosecution of suspected pirates and to support other counter-piracy initiatives, welcoming the contributions of participating States and encouraging other potential donors to contribute to the fund,


Welcoming the adoption of the CGPCS regional capability needs assessment report and urging States and international organizations to provide fullest possible support to enable early implementation of its recommendations,


Commending those States that have amended their domestic law in order to criminalize piracy and facilitate the prosecution of suspected pirates in their national courts, consistent with applicable international law, including human rights law, and stressing the need for States to continue their efforts in this regard,


Noting with concern at the same time that the domestic law of a number of States lacks provisions criminalizing piracy and/or procedural provisions for effective criminal prosecution of suspected pirates,


Acknowledging the ongoing efforts within the CGPCS to explore possible mechanisms to more effectively prosecute persons suspected of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia,


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,


Being concerned over cases when persons suspected of piracy are released without facing justice and determined to create conditions to ensure that pirates are held accountable,


“1.   Affirms that the failure to prosecute persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia undermines anti-piracy efforts of the international community;


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


“3.   Welcomes in this context the progress being made to implement the IMO Djibouti Code of Conduct, and calls upon its participants to implement it fully as soon as possible;


“4.   Requests the Secretary-General to present to the Security Council within 3 months a report on possible options to further the aim of prosecuting and imprisoning persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, including, in particular, options for creating special domestic chambers possibly with international components, a regional tribunal or an international tribunal and corresponding imprisonment arrangements, taking into account the work of the CGPCS, the existing practice in establishing international and mixed tribunals, and the time and the resources necessary to achieve and sustain substantive results;


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


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For information media • not an official record