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3-Month Renewal of Counter Piracy Resolution - UNSC

December 6, 2021 - 21:44:57 UTC

UN Security Council Adopts 3-Month Renewal of Counter Piracy Resolution

THE UN Security Council on Friday, 3 December, unanimously renewed an additional three months of its authorisation for States and regional organizations cooperating with Somalia to use all necessary means to fight piracy off the coast of the East African country.

The UNSC adopted a resolution to combat the continuing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia, as shipping and protection measures to keep vessels safe, have returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that joint counter-piracy efforts have resulted in a steady decline in pirate attacks and hijackings since 2011, as well as no successful ship hijackings for ransom since March 2017.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2608 (2021) (to be issued as document S/RES/2608(2021)), the Council decided, for a further period of three months from the date of the resolution, to renew the authorisations, as set out in resolution 2554 (2020), granted to States and regional organisations cooperating with Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, for which advance notification has been provided by Somali authorities to the Secretary-General.

However, it also recognised the ongoing threat of resurgent piracy and armed robbery at sea, noting the letter of 2 December 2021 from the Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Somalia to the United Nations requesting international assistance to counter piracy off its coast.

The Council also called upon the Somali authorities to interdict, and upon interdiction to have mechanisms in place to safely return effects seized by pirates, investigate and prosecute pirates and to patrol the waters off the coast of Somalia to prevent and suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.

In addition, it encouraged the Federal Government of Somalia to accede to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and develop a corresponding legal architecture as part of its efforts to target money laundering and financial support structures on which piracy networks survive.

The Council decided that the arms embargo on Somalia imposed in resolution 733 (1992), further elaborated upon in resolution 1425 (2002) and modified by resolution 2093 (2013) does not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment or the provision of assistance destined for the sole use of Member States, international, regional and subregional organizations undertaking measures most recently reaffirmed by resolution 2607 (2021).

It also urged all States to share information with the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) for use in the global piracy database, through appropriate channels.

Sheraz Gasri (France), speaking in explanation of vote, said the three-month-timeline risked creating a security vacuum that might be disastrous for Somalia as well as the region as a whole. The European Union’s efforts do not just fight piracy, but also stop weapons and arms trafficking and enable humanitarian assistance to be delivered to Somalia, she pointed out. Maritime security cannot be separated from the transition in security in 2023. She expressed hope that an agreement will be reached on the reconfiguration of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which was intended to take place in September.

Source: UN Security Council

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