Security Council encourages Gulf of Guinea nations to address illicit maritime activities

On patrol: a security exercise at sea.
On patrol: a security exercise at sea.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday encouraged nations in the region of the Gulf of Guinea to address illicit maritime activities.

Unanimously adopting Resolution 2634, the council urges member states in the region to take prompt action to develop and implement “national maritime security strategies,” including the establishment of a harmonized legal framework for the prevention and repression of piracy and armed robbery at sea, as well as prosecution of persons engaging in those crimes, and punishment of those convicted of those crimes.

The council encourages the states of the Gulf of Guinea to protect their maritime domains, and to ensure cooperation in this regard.

The council further calls upon member states to cooperate, as appropriate, on the issues of piracy and armed robbery, in particular on hostage taking, and to cooperate on the prosecution of suspected pirates while respecting fair trial guarantees, including through drafting of agreements, as needed, for the transfer of arrested piracy suspects between states in and outside the region, consistent with applicable international law.

According to the resolution, the council also urges member states and relevant international organizations to assist states in the region, as well as regional and sub-regional organizations, in ensuring that necessary measures are taken to prevent the revenues generated by piracy and armed robbery at sea from contributing to the financing of terrorism in West and Central Africa and the Sahel.

In initiating the resolution, Ghana and Norway, the penholders, sought to renew attention to the issue of Gulf of Guinea piracy and mobilize greater support for regional and national efforts to tackle the problem. It has been 10 years since the council’s last resolution on Gulf of Guinea piracy, Resolution 2039 of Feb. 29, 2012.

The penholders also proposed the resolution as an early warning initiative over concerns that piracy may have or could develop links with terrorist groups in West and Central Africa. Enditem

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