UN Urges Regional Anti-Piracy Strategy
A comprehensive regional strategy is critical if countries are to successfully combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, a top United Nations official stressed today, highlighting the threat posed to the security and economic development of States in the region by the scourge.
“Gulf of Guinea countries need a united front in order to respond to effectively to the growing threat of piracy along their coasts. Isolated national initiatives are only temporarily, at best, pushing the pirates to shift their criminal operations from one country to the next,” B. Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said in a briefing to the Security Council.
He told the 15-member body that piracy and armed robbery against ships increasingly undermine efforts by States in the Gulf of Guinea region to maintain peace, security and stability and to promote socio-economic development. The threat has become even more alarming as the pirates have become more violent.
“While regional States and organizations have carried out initiatives designed to counter piracy and armed robbery against ships at the national and regional levels, the threat not only persists but appears to be gaining ground in a region where the high-value assets the pirates target are abundant,” he stated.
Last November Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deployed a team – in response to a request from President Boni Yayi of Benin – to assess the scope of the piracy threat in the Gulf of Guinea and make recommendations for possible UN support in tackling this scourge.
The move also followed the adoption of a resolution in which the Council condemned all acts of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea and encouraged regional bodies to develop a comprehensive strategy to tackle it.