Piracy in Somalia has reached "serious proportions," says UN General Assembly president

11:12, May 15, 2010      

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The challenge posed by maritime piracy, especially off the coast of Somalia, has reached "serious proportions," the president of the UN General Assembly, Ali Treki, said here Friday, warning that if left unaddressed, " the consequences will be global."

"The challenge posed by maritime piracy, particularly off the coast of Somalia, has assumed serious proportions," Treki said at an informal meeting of the General Assembly on international maritime piracy.

Rooted in the insecurity, instability and lack of governmental authority in Somalia, Treki said the UN has been assisting Somalia 's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in improving the security situation there.

"These efforts notwithstanding, there is no respite in the piracy incidents off the coast of Somalia," he said, noting that much remains at stake for Somalia, particularly their sovereignty, security and economy.

"If left unaddressed, the consequences will be global," Treki warned.

"There is therefore an urgent need for coordinated strategies, not only to fight piracy, but more importantly to address the complex factors that trigger and sustain crime and impunity in Somalia, the North-Western Indian Ocean and the high seas in general," he said.

The primary responsibility lies with Somalia, but "given the magnitude of the problems," the international community must step up and address it as well, Treki said.

He called on the UN Security Council to "shoulder its responsibility" and undertake "strong and resolute measures" to support the peace-building in Somalia.

"The United Nations is indispensable in forging international cooperation and increasing coordination of all efforts to address the problem of piracy," Treki said.

Later this month, the UN and Turkey will co-host a conference on Somalia in Istanbul with an aim to increase international awareness and address the threats toward security and stability of the country.

It will also look at the possibilities of coping with those threats, especially in scope of development restricting, and explore measures to strengthen efforts to combat rampant sea piracy off the Somali coast.

Source: Xinhua
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