UN squeezes Somali pirates

Updated: 2013-11-19 11:23

By China Daily (China Daily USA)

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UN squeezes Somali pirates

A renewed resolution was adopted by the UN Security Council on Monday calling for continued international action in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Resolution 2125 (2013) was adopted to renew for another year authorizations first agreed to in 2008.

"The resolution sent out a very strong message of cooperation between the members of the international community, in combating piracy and arms robbery off the coast of Somalia, and in arresting and prosecuting the culprits," said Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the UN, who is also the rotating president of the Security Council for the month of November.

Liu said the resolution has set up an important framework that will continue to enable member states to cooperate on the Somalia piracy issue, while noting that past Security Council actions have had a very positive impact in the area.

According to the resolution, the Council will consider establishing specialized anti-piracy courts in Somalia and other regional States, with substantial international participation.

The recent release of the movie Captain Phillips, a dramatization of the true story about the 2009 hijacking of the containership Maersk Alabama off the Somalia coast, has raised renewed public concern about the piracy threat, even though incidents of piracy in the first three quarters of this year appeared to be at their lowest levels since 2006, according to International Chamber of Commerce's International Maritime Bureau, which monitors maritime crime.

"There is a falling curve in the number of reported incidents of piracy and arms robbery in the area," Liu said, and expressed his hopes the momentum would continue.

The resolution welcomed the efforts of individual countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan and Russia, which have deployed naval counter-piracy missions in the region. China and Russia are two of the fivepermanentmembers of the Council, the other three being US, UK, and France.

Liu said China supports operations to fight piracy, and has so far sent out 15 naval fleets to protect commercial civilian shipping in this area. To date, about 5,200 commercial ships have been protected by Chinese naval fleets, according to Liu. China will continue to work with other members of the international community in this area, Liu said.

Monday's Security Council meeting also addressed the situation in South Sudan.

Liu called for closer cooperation between UNMIS, or the United Nations Mission in the Sudan, and Sudanese government, so that whatever the Sudanese government is doing to improve the situation, stability and economic development in the country will enjoy the full support of the UN presence and of the international community.

Liu said China has sent 357 peace-keepers in UNMIS, and will continue to support UNMIS in its mission.

Wan Li contributed to this story.

(China Daily USA 11/19/2013 page2)