New York, 2 June 2022 (TDI): The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution today calling on Member Countries in the Gulf of Guinea region to criminalize piracy and armed robbery at sea under their domestic legislation, and to inspect, prosecute, or extradite culprits of such offenses, as well as those who instigate, fund, or purposefully facilitate them, in compliance with appropriate international law.

According to the UN Security Council, there is a need to create and implement national maritime security strategies. Member states must comply with international law. This would entail the creation of a unified legal framework.

This would also prevent and prosecute piracy and armed robbery at sea under this legal framework. It would prosecute those who commit the crimes and punish the guilty.

Ghana’s UN Ambassador, Harold Adlai Agyeman, remarked that the Council had not passed a resolution on maritime piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea. He noted that it took ten years for the Council to pass the resolution.

Maritime piracy has emerged as one of Africa’s most serious security challenges. He went on to say that countering the threat requires immediate attention. This is because it is harmful to the development of the region’s coastal economies.

Further, piracy remains a global hotspot in the region. As a result, the entire planet faces a problem. The deep linkages between piracy and terrorism, as well as the disturbing reappearance of military coups in the region, were cited. This will worsen climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Gulf of Guinea

He told the Council that he was working on strengthening several existing structures. The Yaoundé Code of Conduct is an example of such a structure. He requested that the Secretary-General provide the Council with an update on current efforts to address such acts.

According to Norway’s Ambassador Mona Juul, more than 1,000 ships span the Gulf of Guinea every day. The cost of piracy to coastal states is estimated to be $2 billion per year. The Gulf of Guinea continues to be the world’s most perilous location for ships, sailors, and maritime trade.

This is despite the good progress made as well as the assistance provided by fresh efforts by nations such as Nigeria. She went on to say that ending piracy is critical for the development and economic well-being of dozens of countries. This includes countries in western, central, and southern Africa.

In light of this, the resolution strives to improve security. She added that it also underscores that the Law of the Sea Convention establishes the legal worldwide framework on the subject.

As a result, the resolution requests that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres submit a report on the root causes of piracy. And also a report on armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea within five months. This includes any known or suspected ties to terrorism in West and Central Africa, as well as the Sahel.

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