Islamabad, November 20, 2012 (PPI-OT): Speaking in a debate in the Security Council “on maritime piracy as a threat to international peace and security” Pakistan’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador Masood Khan has drawn attention of the international community on plight of hostages held by pirates.
Condemning the act of hostage taking in strongest term, the ambassador said, all out efforts should be made to ensure the safety and security of seafarers. International Community, he added lacked unanimity on ways and means to address the serious problem of hostage, says a press release received here today from New York.
He welcomed the proposal of Hostage Support Programme developed by the UN; “We hope that the proposal will lead to a concrete action plan that can be supported by the international community and the shipping organizations”, he added.
Highlighting that Pakistan has commanded Combined Task Force – 151, a multi-national naval force for counter-piracy, the Ambassador stated “International naval cooperation off the Horn of Africa, characterized by joint operations, is a significant deterrence and a leading factor in reducing piracy”.
The Ambassador reiterated that Pakistan was a willing and committed partner of international community in its fight against piracy. He said that Pakistan Navy was vigilant against piracy and was maintaining an active surveillance and patrols to pre-empt any piracy or armed robbery. “Our territorial and regional waters in the Arabian Sea are peaceful and safe for maritime traffic”. On the legal front, he said Pakistan is amending domestic legislation to further criminalize acts of piracy.
The Ambassador told the 15- member body that concerted and integrated approach was required to eradicate piracy. No single country, he added could counter piracy by itself. Multilateral effort and unified UN role with inter-agency cooperation is imperative to confront the challenge of piracy in an effective way.
The Ambassador said, inadequate governance structure, lack of economic opportunities and exploitation of coastal areas in Somalia, proliferation of armed groups in the Gulf of Guinea and inadequate preparedness of merchant ships were the major contributory factors for piracy.
We must address the root-causes of the piracy by building state-capacity of Somalian government and helping them in economic reconstruction, which the ambassador underlined were imperative to reduce the tendency of some segments of local population to be lured to piracy.
The Security Council also issued today a Statement, which commended the efforts of Combined Task Force (CTF-151) that has been led by Pakistan, Turkey, Republic of Korea, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States for its counter-piracy operations.
UN Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson told the Security Council on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, that piracy and armed robbery against ships was a global concern, which affects the freedom of shipping and the safety of shipping lanes that carry about 90 per cent of the world’s trade.”
He stressed the need to address the causes of piracy with a “multi-dimensional approach” to ensure the safety of seafarers, fishermen and passengers and avoid damage to the fishing and tourism industries.
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