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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing On Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

2022-11-22 16:33

Mr. President,

I thank ASG Pobee, Executive Director Waly, Ambassador Ukonga and Commander Yakubu for their briefing. 

The gulf of Guinea is an important international waterway and energy space. Maintenance of security and stability in the Gulf of Guinea is of great significance for regional and global peace and development. Since last year, thanks to the joint efforts of regional countries and the international community, the maritime security environment in the Gulf of Guinea has improved and incidents of piracy have been on a visible decline. At the same time, piracy is still frequent in the region, and it still seriously affects the peace and development of coastal countries and landlocked neighbors. The international community should continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation, and take timely and effective measures to jointly safeguard the security and stability in the Gulf of Guinea and the region as a whole, I would like to make the following three points.

First, we should further strengthen regional cooperation and international coordination and build force to safeguard maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. Piracy is the across the sea and cross border organized crime. It moves a lot and it is hard to locate. Only by strengthening coordination and cooperation can we effectively combat piracy. We are pleased to see regional countries have increased their input and made positive efforts to prevent and combat piracy. Some progress has also been made in the regional maritime law enforcement cooperation. Anti piracy operations involve national sovereignty, domestic legislation and law, law enforcement for security and other internal affairs of a country. On the premise of respecting the sovereignty and leadership of coastal countries, the international community should support all parties concerned in fully implementing the  "Yaoundé Code of Conduct" supports regional organizations, such as Economic Community of West African States, Economic Community of Central African States and The Gulf of Guinea Commission in playing a leading role to enhance the capacity and efficiency of the fight against piracy. At the same time, we should also be vigilant and curb the spread of terrorist forces from the Sahel region to the Gulf of Guinea. 

Second, we should give further play to the advantages and role of United Nations  agencies to provide guidance and support for the fight against piracy. In May this year, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2634 on combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, setting out provisions and making arrangements for combatting piracy, strengthening anti piracy legislation, formulating maritime security strategy and deepening international and regional cooperation. The international community should jointly implement the resolution and provide assistance to coastal countries and regional organizations in Information sharing, exchange of experience, technical assistance and capacity building. Agencies such UNOWA, UNOCA, UNODC, IMO, INTERPOL should give full play to their professional advantages, help coastal countries strengthen the building of regional anti piracy mechanisms, carry out training of maritime security forces and improve joint law enforcement, maritime monitoring and other operational capabilities.

Third, we should further clarify the development first concept and gradually tackle the root causes of piracy. The Secretary-General's report shows that 242 million people in the Gulf of Guinea live below the poverty line. The social economic development challenge and livelihood issues in some coastal countries is a significant underlying cause for the problem of piracy. The Gulf of Guinea is rich in energy resources and has great potential for development. The key lies in transforming the advantage of natural endowments into the driving force for development, job opportunities and well-being of coastal countries. The marine economy in the Gulf of Guinea has great prospect, but development and investment are clearly inadequate. The international community should adjust measures to local conditions, increase assistance to coastal countries in port construction, aquaculture and fishing, support the development of marine economy in the Gulf of Guinea, carry out international cooperation, rationally develop and utilize marine resources, help regional countries achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda as soon as possible and completely eliminate the underlying causes that breed piracy.

Mr. President, 

China has always been actively participating in international cooperation to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. In recent years, the Chinese naval convoys have been invited to conduct joint anti piracy drills with the navies of Nigeria, Cameroon and other countries and to provide anti piracy supplies and equipment assistance to coastal countries. In May this year, the Chinese military held the first symposium on the security situation in the Gulf of Guinea, in which China and the coastal countries and the Inter Regional Coordination Center for the maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea held in-depth discussions on the theme of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and reached a lot of important consensuses. Going forward, China will continue to carry out counterpart exchanges with coastal countries in maritime security, policing, military and other fields and promote practical cooperation in the fields of detection, early warning, joint cruising, training and exercise, and equipment assistance, so as to play an active role and make greater contributions to the maintenance of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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