Security Council re-authorizes action against piracy off Somali coast

Somali piracy suspects transported to trial in Nairobi, Kenya

23 November 2010 – The Security Council today renewed for another 12 months the authorizations granted to States and regional organizations cooperating with Somalia’s transitional government to fight piracy off the country’s coast.

As set out in previous resolutions, this includes the authorization for States and regional organizations 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.

In the resolution it adopted today, the 15-member body reiterated its condemnation of all acts of piracy and armed robbery against vessels in the waters off the Somali coast.

According to figures by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), over 438 seafarers and passengers and 20 ships are held by pirates as of 4 November – an increase of almost 100 kidnapped victims in less than a month.

The Council encouraged Member States to continue to cooperate with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG), which has the primary role in the fight against piracy.

Among other things, it also recognized that the ongoing instability in Somalia is one of the underlying causes of the piracy problem, and stressed the need for a comprehensive response by the international community to tackle it.

Earlier this month, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs told a meeting of the Council that the growing problem of piracy off the Somali coast demands more than just military efforts, and called for simultaneous action on three fronts – deterrence, security and the rule of law, and development – to combat the scourge.

“Piracy is a menace that is outpacing efforts by the international community to stem it,” B. Lynn Pascoe stated, adding that as long as piracy is so lucrative, with ransom payments adding up to tens if not millions of dollars, and other economic options so bleak, the incentives are obvious.

“Economic rehabilitation and the creation of alternative livelihoods, especially the development and rehabilitation of coastal fisheries, must be at the centre of our efforts to fight piracy.”


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