The United Nations Security Council has called for a comprehensive regional approach to combat the threat of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, urging its member states to prosecute perpetrators in accordance with international laws.
“The Security Council expresses its deep concern at the reported number of incidents and level of violence of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, in the first half of 2013,” the 15-member body said in a presidential statement.
The council warned about the threat to international navigation, security and economic development of states in the region; the safety and welfare of seafarers and other persons; and the safety of commercial maritime routes caused by the illegal activities off the western coast of Africa. It also again called on the region’s nations to criminalize piracy and armed robbery at sea under their domestic law, and to prosecute perpetrators, consistent with applicable international law, as reflected in the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The council noted that neighboring governments and regional organizations have taken steps to combat piracy. Most recently, Western African leaders met in June at the Summit of the Gulf of Guinea Heads of State and Government on maritime safety and security in Cameroon to establish a framework to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea.