UAE calls for addressing root causes to curb piracy off the Somali coast

WAM New York, Dec 13th, 2012 (WAM) — The UAE has called for addressing the root causes behind maritime piracy off the Somali Coast, renewing its pledge to continue supporting the international efforts to fight this phenomenon which poses a serious threat to International peace, security and stability.

Ahmed Al-Jarman, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in a statement at 13th Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia held at New York said, that the active international naval operations against piracy and the continuously developed self-protection measures by private maritime companies have led to reducing piracy attacks and kidnapping attempts significantly.

“On the ground, the continued international efforts, including the efforts made by the African Union Forces in Somalia, have led to achieving significant progress in the security situation and in the political process in Somalia. This international progress has been translated into decrease in piracy attacks off the Somali coast by 54% during the period 2011 – 2012,” he added.

He cited that the Second High-Level Conference on Combating Piracy organized by the United Arab Emirates under the slogan “A Regional Response to Maritime Piracy: Enhancing Public-Private Partnerships and Strengthening Global Engagement”, is part of this comprehensive global engagement, and has achieved consensus on two main areas that international efforts need to focus on, first: providing adequate support to coastal states affected by piracy, particularly Somalia, in order to enable those states to develop the capacities of their concerned national institutions to address piracy.

In this regard, he added, the UAE provided comprehensive support for the establishment of Coast Guard Force of Somalia, which included boats, terminals, equipment and financial resources. Secondly: increase cooperation between the public and private sectors in the area of combating piracy on all fronts, including the provision of additional financial resources to support control efforts.

He said the final Communique of this Conference endorsed the UAE’s proposal to further enhance the activity the Trust Fund of the Contact Group by making it a central focal point for funds directed toward the projects of building maritime capacity to counter piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Toward this end, the UAE announced an additional financial contribution of US one million dollar to the Trust Fund to be used in support of this key area. The UAE looks forward to further engagement with its Contact Group partners.

In his concluding remarks, Al-Jarman said: ”We would like to reaffirm that countering piracy cannot be effective without making fundamental changes in the stability and security conditions of Somalia. Therefore we urge that sufficient funds are provided for the initiatives and projects aimed at developing alternate livelihoods for the Somali people, and to assist Somalia to build its exclusive economic zone, enact the necessary national legislations for combating piracy and develop its fisheries and infrastructure for exports of livestock and other projects for boosting the local economy, all of which will enable Somalia to reduce the impact of this negative phenomenon that spread among its people as a result of poverty and lack of security and stability.” WAM/HH/AM

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