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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Head of the Chinese Delegation and Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nation, at the Tenth Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia

2011-11-17 06:08

Mr. Chair,

I thank you for convening today's meeting.I also thank chairs of each working group for their briefings as well as statements made by the relevant parties.These briefings and statements will greatly contribute to our in-depth discussions on how to address the piracy issue off the Somali coast.

Mr. Chair,

Piracy off the Somali coast has always posed a big threat to regional peace and stability as well as international shipping and trade. In recent years,parties concerned have used the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia as a platform to engage in international cooperation, and progress has been made in the international efforts to combat piracy. Nevertheless,acts of piracy in the region are still running rampant, getting more industrialized and violent, and affecting more and more areas.The international counter-piracy efforts remain a long and uphill battle.It is imperative to strengthen coordination and cooperation and forge greater consensus.

China supports fighting piracy off the Somali coast and result-oriented international cooperation in this regard under the relevant provisions of international law and the mandates of Security Council resolutions.The Chinese Navy started to dispatch escort warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali waters since January 2009.By the end of October this year, China has dispatched ten batches of 26 warships to engage in escort missions for 4,228 vessels in 383 batches.The escort missions are 100%successful.We rescued 46 vessels which were attacked and chased by pirates,and escorted 9 vessels which were released after abduction. These efforts have contributed to the safety and security of Chinese and foreign vessels passing through the Somali coastal area, and the shipping and navigation order in the region.China also cooperated with the European Union on four escort missions for food-delivering ships of the UN World Food Programme.In the third quarter of this year, in an active response to the initiative of the SHADE mechanism, China voluntarily submitted the escort schedule of the Chinese Navy in the Somali waters for the first quarter of 2012 to facilitate the coordination of the escort schedules of the parties concerned and improve the efficiency of escort and counter-piracy efforts.China will continue to strengthen coordination and information sharing in military activities with the parties concerned on the basis of voluntary participation and consultation on an equal footing.

China is pleased to note that the international community has gradually realized that the root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia are on land, military action can only mitigate the scourge of piracy, and fundamental settlement of the piracy issue hinges on the political stability, economic development and social tranquility of Somalia. Despite the extension of the transitional period of the TFG, political reconciliation, constitution making and other core tasks have yet to be accomplishe.China welcomes the progress made by the TFG in implementing the Kampala Accord, and hopes that the relevant parties in Somalia will strengthen coordination and cooperation, resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiations,and implement the "roadmap ending the transition" without delay. China welcomes the progress made by the Somali security forces and AMISOM in combating Shabaab and other anti-government armed military operations,and calls on the United Nations to continue its support for the efforts of AMISOM and the Somali armed forces to consolidate their achievements made in the previous stage.We call on the international community to remain focused on the situationin Somalia, continue to adopt a holistic and multifaceted strategy to provide support to the country, tackle both the symptoms and root causes of the problem, and follow through on its commitments to provide assistance to Somalia.

Many coastal countries in Africa play an indispensable role in effectively combating piracy off the Somali coast.It is therefore necessary to give vigorous support to these countries in their capacity building and provide them with sufficient assistance.Since 2005,China has done what it can to provide selfless assistance to Somalia and other coastal countries in the area.We provided 2.2 million US dollars in cash to the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia, and 5 million yuan to Uganda and Burundi respectively to be used for purchase of logistical supplies to support the two countries'participation in AMISOM.In light of the needs on the ground, China will continue to help, through appropriate means, Somalia and other relevant countries to build their capacity.

Regional mechanisms play a crucial role in resolving the Somali issue.China calls on the international community to further enhance the capacity of regional mechanisms to respond to the Somali issue,increase financial,technical and logistical assistance to AMISOM and create conditions for the United Nations to take over the tasks of the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia at an early date.China will continue to work with the rest of the international community to play a constructive role in promoting the peace process in Somalia.

Thank you, Mr. Chair

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