UN urges new approach to fight Somali piracy
New York: A senior UN official urged a comprehensive, cohesive and broad-based strategy to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia, noting that the continued spread of the scourge points to the limits of a solely sea-based approach, WAM news agency reported.
In recent years, pirates operating from Somalia have been hijacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and holding their crews and cargo for ransom, according to the UN.
Charles Petrie, the UN's deputy special representative for Somalia, on Friday told a meeting of the Contact Group on piracy off the coast of Somalia that improved coordination between the international maritime community and military forces in the region, among other elements, has contributed to a decline in the rate of successful pirate attacks and raised the cost of pirate operations.
"And yet piracy continues to expand further out to sea, at times more than 1,000 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia," he said at the meeting in UN headquarters.
Petrie added that the rising costs of these attacks are met by ever more innovative financing mechanisms, including the establishment of stock exchanges which allow local investors to earn returns on their investment in piracy operations.
Meanwhile, the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia on Friday formally adopted a mode of cooperation between China and the Western naval coalition patrolling the Gulf of Aden, Carl Salicath, its chairperson was quoted by UN Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying.
"This cooperation is open for any nation that patrols these waters in order to prevent piracy," Salicath said at a press conference at the UN headquarters. Some countries escorted their own ships in convoys, as China had done before the agreement. "This will make the patrolling more efficient," added Salicath.