Victoria, Seychelles

08 May 2016

Secretary-General's remarks at the Palace of Justice

I am very happy to be here today.

This is my first time to visit this court. While I have been working all the time on paper, on the telephone, in meetings on how to address this piracy issue off the coast of Somalia. This is one of the very tangible work which I am proud to tell you that this is one of my works—which I have been working on very very seriously. I [have been] always on the phone with the President of Tanzania, Kenya and Seychelles on how to mobilize international solidarity.

Seychelles is one of the very few countries who arrest and detain and prosecute pirates. They are a lot of rejections that “we do not want to touch, we do not want to handle this matter.” I have been working very hard with European leaders, Russian leaders. I have been speaking on the phone with then President of Russia Medvedev and a lot of European leaders. I have even been speaking to Koreans. There were once more than 40 naval ships operating in the Indian Ocean to address this piracy, because of that time the number of crimes in the Indian Ocean [was] very high. There were many ships [that] were hijacked. Some prisoners are now serving in Korean prisons. They were prosecuted in courts but they are still serving here. A lot of countries rejected having the pirates in their countries. And I really appreciate the Seychelles government’s strong commitment for the rule of the law. Now since 2013 we are not seen any such case of a ship vessel being hijacked. Personally this has been off my radar, frankly speaking because at that time since 2009 I was speaking all the times.

I really appreciate many countries’ – particularly the United Kingdom – for their generous support and Germany and the Netherlands – there are many such countries which have been providing funds and facilities, this very nice facility. Facilities are not important: if we don’t need this facility, that’s the best way. But life is not that way, reality is not that way.

I am very glad that you are working very closely with the UNODC. We often discuss this matter; Mr. Fedotov is very much committed. There are many crimes – drug trafficking human smugglers, traffickers, we have to address all these issues. All these issues should be carried out in alignment with, in the context of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Then when there is a very smooth peaceful trade, international trade and passages then there will be more trade, more tourists – this will sustainable development as well as the economy.

Again I am very much grateful for your leadership and strong commitment. I know it is a very difficult job but this is what you are doing for humanity.

Thank you very much.