The United Nations Security Council has urged Member States to use naval
vessels and military aircraft in the fight against piracy
and armed robbery
off the coast of Somalia.
In a wide ranging Presidential statement on the situation in Somalia, issued
on March 15, the Council "encourages Member States whose naval vessels
and military aircraft operate in international waters and airspace adjacent
to the coast of Somalia to be vigilant to any incident of piracy therein and
to take appropriate action to protect merchant shipping, in particular the
transportation of humanitarian aid, against any such act, in line with
relevant international law."
The attention of the Security Council was first drawn to the growing problem
of piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia by a
resolution adopted by the 24th session of IMO's Assembly in November 2005.
In resolution A.979(24), the IMO Assembly has condemned and deplored all
acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and has appealed to all
parties, which may be able to assist, to take action, within the provisions
of international law, to ensure that all acts or attempted acts of piracy
and armed robbery against ships are terminated forthwith; that plans for
committing such acts are abandoned; and any hijacked ships are immediately
and unconditionally released and that no harm is caused to seafarers serving
Soon after the resolution was adopted by the IMO Assembly, Secretary-General
Efthimios E. Mitropoulos submitted it to United Nations Secretary-General
Kofi Annan for consideration and any further action he might deem
appropriate, including bringing the matter to the attention of the Security
Mitropoulos expressed his satisfaction at this latest development, adding
that he hoped the action requested by the security council of all UN Member
States would help to bring about a significant reduction in attacks on
innocent merchant shipping in the area and lead eventually to the
eradication of the problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia.
The Presidential statement was made at the 5387th meeting of the Security
Council held on 15 March 2006, in connection with the Council's
consideration of the item entitled "The situation in Somalia".
The full text of the paragraph concerning piracy and armed robbery is as
"The Security Council takes note of Resolution A.979 (24) adopted on 23
November 2005 at the twenty-fourth session of the International Maritime
Organization biennial Assembly, concerning the increasing incidents of
piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia.
The Council encourages Member States whose naval vessels and military
aircraft operate in international waters and airspace adjacent to the coast
of Somalia to be vigilant to any incident of piracy therein and to take
appropriate action to protect merchant shipping, in particular the
transportation of humanitarian aid, against any such act., in line with
relevant international law. In this regard, the Council welcomes the
communiqué of the IGAD Council of Ministers' meeting in Jawhar on 29
November 2005, which decided to coordinate its strategies and action plans
to face this common challenge in close collaboration with the international
community. The Council further urges cooperation among all States,
particularly regional states, and active prosecution of piracy offenses."