24 June 2013

Secretary-General's message to the Summit of Gulf of Guinea Heads of State and Government on Maritime Security and Safety [Delivered by Mr. Abou Moussa, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa]

I thank His Excellency President Paul Biya, as well as the Government and people of Cameroon, for hosting this Summit of Gulf of Guinea Heads of State and Government on maritime security and security. This Summit is a milestone in your collective efforts to address and prevent piracy.

I commend the Member States of the region, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) and their partners for their concerted action and leadership in responding to this growing threat.

I would also like to recognize the key role played by President Boni Yayi of the Republic of Benin in raising the international community’s awareness of the challenges faced by his country and other Gulf of Guinea States in combating a threat that knows no boundary.

Less than two years ago, on 30 October 2011, the United Nations Security Council issued its first-ever resolution on this issue, calling on countries of the Gulf of Guinea to develop a comprehensive response to piracy and armed robbery at sea. You have met this challenge head on. Thanks to your activism and innovative approach, you will be reviewing in the next two days the building blocks of a regionalstrategy developed with the support of my Special Representatives for Central and West Africa.

We have a collective responsibility to keep the situation from escalating. We must strengthen our efforts and cooperate even more closely. Once adopted, the regional anti-piracy strategy will require the necessary financial resources for its implementation.

The United Nations will continue to support you.  Thank you again for such high-level commitment and engagement.  I wish you great success in your deliberations.