Office of the Spokesman
April 22, 2008
Question Taken at April 22, 2008 Daily Press Briefing
UN Security Council Resolution on Piracy (Taken Question)
: Is the UN Security Council working on a resolution on piracy?
The United States is very concerned about the increasing number of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, especially off the coast of Somalia. According to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau, the number of vessel hijackings off the Somali coast increased from 2 in 2004 to 31 in 2007.
On February 27, 2008, Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) submitted a letter to the President of the Security Council asking for assistance in combating piracy in its territorial waters while the TFG develops the capacity to protect vessels off its coasts, interdict pirates and perpetrators of armed robbery in Somali territorial waters, and prosecute these individuals when apprehended.
The United States has been working with several other concerned Council members to draft a UN Security Council Resolution that will authorize states to take steps to assist the TFG in deterring, preventing, and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The Resolution will also call upon Member States to assist in the disposition of suspects for prosecution. We hope to share a draft text with the entire Council very soon.
With regard to recent developments, we applaud the French government for its efforts to interdict and prosecute the pirates that hijacked the French-flagged passenger ship Le Ponant. We deplore the taking of the Spanish fishing vessel Playa de Bakio by pirates off the Somali coast and demand the crew and vessel’s release. The attempted hijacking of the Japanese oil tanker on April 21 of this year, which threatened the crew’s safety and resulted in environmental degradation, was also reprehensible.
Released on April 22, 2008