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Security Council urges prompt action by Gulf of Guinea nations to counter piracy

29 February 2012 – The Security Council today urged countries of the region of the Gulf of Guinea to take prompt action to develop and implement to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also urged the countries, through regional organizations, to work towards the convening of the planned joint Summit of Gulf of Guinea States to develop a regional anti-piracy strategy, in cooperation with the African Union.

In addition, the Council encouraged international partners to provide support to regional States and organizations to enhance their capabilities to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, including their capacity to conduct regional patrols and establish and maintain joint coordinator centres, among other measures.

Today’s action comes two days after the UN political chief told the Council that a comprehensive regional strategy is critical if countries are to successfully combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Gulf of Guinea countries need a united front in order to respond to effectively to the growing threat of piracy along their coasts. Isolated national initiatives are only temporarily, at best, pushing the pirates to shift their criminal operations from one country to the next,” B. Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, had stated.

He told the Council that piracy and armed robbery against ships increasingly undermine efforts by States in the Gulf of Guinea region to maintain peace, security and stability and to promote socio-economic development. The threat has become even more alarming as the pirates have become more violent.

A team deployed last November by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to assess the scope of the piracy threat in the Gulf of Guinea found that the scourge has become more systematic, with the pirates resorting to sophisticated modes of operations and utilizing heavy weapons.

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