Pakistan calls for 'multilateral' effort to eradicate piracy
Pakistan called for "concerted and integrated" action to eradicate piracy and strongly condemned hostage-taking and the violence employed in the crime. "No single country can counter piracy by itself. We need multilateral effort. We need a cohesive UN role with inter-agency co-operation," Ambassador Masood Khan, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the Security Council on Monday.
Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2012
Speaking during a debate on maritime piracy as a threat to international peace and security, he said Pakistan is a "willing and committed" partner of international community in its fight against piracy, which was mostly localised off the Coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.
"We are maintaining active surveillance and patrols to pre-empt any piracy or armed robbery," the Pakistani envoy told the 15-Nation Council. "Our territorial and regional waters in the Arabian Sea are peaceful and safe for maritime traffic." Masood Khan said that inadequate governance structure, lack of economic opportunities and exploitation of costal areas in Somalia are major contributors to modern piracy. In other regions, such as the Gulf of Guinea, he said it could be attributed to proliferation of armed groups and inadequate preparedness of merchant ships. Elsewhere, piracy is an incident and not a pattern.
While that menace had diminished, it still posed a serious threat, the Pakistani envoy said. Pirates presently held hostage more than 200 seafarers. He strongly condemned hostage taking, and lamented that the international community lacked a unanimous view on how to address that issue.
The welfare of seafarers in captivity and after release is a priority, and in that context he welcomed the proposal of a hostage support programme developed by UNPOS (United Nations Political Office for Somalia) and he said that eradicating piracy of the Somali coast would require a concerted and integrated approach, encompassing political, security and justice sector tracks, and be based on four pillars.
The root causes related to the political and security situation in Somalia must be addressed, the Pakistani envoy said, adding, pirates must be deterred by active naval deployment; there was a need for judicial measures and justice-sector development, particularly for regional countries such as Seychelles, Kenya, Mauritius and Tanzania, who were providing critical support in prosecuting pirates. In addition, mercantile shipping companies needed to be cognisant of piracy, follow relevant guidelines and take protective measures. The ambassador said Pakistan, in principle, did not object to the presence of privately contracted armed security personnel aboard merchant ships, subject to prior intimation on a case-to-case basis.
Ships must notify coastal States about the presence of privately contracted armed security personnel in advance and formulate and put in place standard operating procedures to ensure that their security, at sea and on land, is not compromised. More broadly, he added, an acceptable regulatory framework should be developed.