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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Security Council Debate on the Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

2012-02-27 05:10

I thank Togo for arranging this thematic debate of the Council on the question of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. I also thank Under-Secretary-General Pascoe; the Director of Political Affairs of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Musah; and the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, Mrs. Ukonga, for their briefings.

In recent years, frequent acts of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea have seriously threatened the normal trade and navigation security in the Gulf and negatively affected regional peace and security. They have also had an impact on the economic activities of coastal States and the neighbouring hinterland countries. China expresses its grave concern over this situation. The countries of the Gulf of Guinea, the relevant regional organizations and the international community should fully recognize the serious nature of the problem, take timely, effective, preventive and comprehensive actions, and duly solve the problem by strengthening international cooperation and preparing integrated strategies.

The Gulf of Guinea countries bear the primary responsibility for dealing with piracy. China welcomes the positive initiatives taken by the countries concerned, including the formulation and enhancement of national strategies, the strengthening of governance, naval capacities, judicial systems and law enforcement, and the deployment of joint maritime patrols. We hope that the countries concerned will continue to increase inputs, strengthen coordination and do better in shouldering the responsibility for maintaining regional peace and security.

Recently, the relevant regional organizations -ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission - actively formulated an integrated regional anti-piracy strategy and established regional coordination centres that have already achieved notable results. China expresses its appreciation for the work of those organizations. We hope that the relevant regional organizations will continue to play a leadership and coordination role, convene a regional summit on preventing and combating piracy as soon as possible, and strengthen and improve their coordination mechanisms so that they can act in synergy.

The support and assistance of the international community are indispensable to addressing the question of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. China supports the relevant recommendations in the report of the assessment mission (see S/2012/45). We support the United Nations in playing a coordinating role in international cooperation to combat piracy and in providing more financial and technical support to the relevant countries and regional organizations. We call on countries with the capacities to do so to effectively address the question and, on the basis of respect for the sovereignty of the relevant countries, to provide timely and necessary assistance. The Chinese Government will continue to provide assistance within our capabilities.

The issue of piracy has a profound economic and social background. Piracy occurs at sea but its root causes are on land. Poverty and stalled economic and social development provide fertile ground for piracy. If the problem of piracy is to be solved, an integrated strategy to address the symptoms and root causes is required. We call on the international community to redouble its efforts and play a more active role in helping the countries concerned to eradicate poverty and achieve sustained economic and social development.

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