India proposes plans to tackle Somali piracy

India has proposed a five point plan to strengthen international cooperation, including tracking the trail of ransom money, to tackle the problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2011, 12:00 PM IST

United Nations: India has proposed a five point plan to strengthen international cooperation, including tracking the trail of ransom money, to tackle the problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

"A comprehensive approach to tackle the problem has to be found to address this serious issue," India`s Permanent Representative to UN Hardeep Singh Puri said during a during a discussion on the issue in the Security Council Wednesday.

The measures proposed by India are:

1. Reinforcement of tracking the trail of ransom money to different parts of the world, as was entrusted to the Interpol;

2. Prosecution of the beneficiaries of ransom money for abetting piracy;

3. Consideration of the conduct of the naval operations under the UN as the preferred option;

4. Sanitisation of the Somali coast line through identified corridors and buffer zones and tracking of fishing vessels around the Somali coast;

5. Enactment of national laws on priority to criminalise piracy as defined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of convicted, pirates apprehended off the coast of Somalia as required under resolution 1918 (2010).

"As a country with a coastline of over 7,500 km, criminal activities in the international waters pose a serious threat to India," Puri said. "A large volume of India`s trade passes through the Gulf of Aden, estimated at about USD 110 billion annually."

"About 24 Indian-flagged merchant ships transit the Gulf of Aden every month. Moreover, more than six percent of seafarers engaged in international shipping companies are Indian nationals," he said.

"We, therefore, have a strong interest in ensuring the security of maritime traffic off the Somali coast, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea," Puri said.

India, he said, would continue to contribute to international efforts aimed at increasing effective cooperation among States to tackle the problems of piracy.

IANS