Statement by

H.E. MR.  YUSRA KHAN

DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE
OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA
TO THE UNITED NATIONS


Security Council Open Debate
“International Peace and Security: Piracy”

New York, 19 November 2012

 

 


Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this open-debate. It is a timely opportunity for all of us to stand together to combat acts of piracy which continue to run rampant, affecting more Member States, and posing a huge threat to regional peace and stability, and to international navigation and shipping.

Allow me also to express my appreciation to the United Nations Secretary General, His Excellency Ban Ki-moon for his report on 22 October 2012 pursuant to the Council’s resolution 2020 (2011) on the  issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Mr. President,

Throughout history, Indonesia, as an archipelagic state, has faced challenges of maritime security, such as piracy and sea armed robbery. We have thus always condemned and deplored all acts of piracy in the high seas.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia and its neighboring states have long dealt with this issue in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The region therefore worked on various bilateral, trilateral and regional initiatives that successfully helped the littoral States to significantly lower the number of piracy and armed robbery incidents in the region.

Indonesia remains of the view that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) should serve as the primary legal framework applicable to combating piracy and sea armed robbery.

With that in mind, allow me to address the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and in the waters off the coast of Somalia.

Mr. President,

    Over the past year, the Council has made the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea a part of its concern. This is apparent from the latest two resolutions, SC Res 2018 (2011) and SC Res 2039 (2012), in which the Council highlighted the need for international cooperation, to tackle the menace of piracy including through capacity building of states in the region.

Indonesia welcomes this initiative and underlines the necessity for the international community to provide necessary assistance to the littoral countries in advancing their monitoring and prevention capacity as well as their judicial capacity.

We are keen to hear the progress of the United Nations role in overcoming this problem in the Gulf of Guinea from UNOWA and UNOCA, through the report of the Secretary General.

Mr. President,

    Turning to the issue of piracy and armed robbery in the waters off the coast of Somalia, Indonesia shares the serious concern on the rate of occurrence. Even though the Secretary General has indicated in his report a decline in attacks and hijacking this year, it is alarming that as many as 224 seafarers and 17 vessels were held hostage as of September 2012.

Without question, the instability in that country is a key contributor to such growth of attacks and it is one of the root causes that should be addressed immediately.

We share the view that the continuing political instability and economic problems in Somalia is the first thing that must be addressed. Indonesia has noted that with the deepening of the international efforts to combat piracy off the Somali coast, the issue of prosecution and trial of pirates is becoming more and more challenging. In that sense, Indonesia supports Security Council Resolution 2020 (2011) which provides the required legal framework for assisting Somalia in fighting piracy and armed robbery.

Furthermore, we need to protect the welfare of seafarers being held hostage by the pirates. To that extent, we welcome the discussion under the working groups of the CGPCS, as the main forum to discuss the issue of piracy off the coast of Somalia, which is reviewing the conventions and draft guidance concerning seafarers. We also welcome the joint efforts by UNODC and UNPOS to develop a program immediate assistance and care for released hostages.


Mr. President,

The economic loss as result of piracy is indeed very large, however the loss of human life by this horrendous act is incalculable. Realizing this, Indonesia emphasizes the urgency to prosecute the culprits as well as those who illicitly finance, plan, organize, or unlawfully profit from pirate attacks. We also see the need also to criminalize piracy in national law, as defined by UNCLOS 1982 as well as continuing close partnerships and cooperation between state and non-state actors.

Finally, Indonesia would like to call on all members of the international community not to lose sight of the significance and seriousness of the challenge of piracy and armed robbery at sea, for which all nations and peoples, the public and the private sector, are losers wherever and whenever it happens.  We must unite our efforts and work together and with great determination to ensure triumph over this problem.


Thank you, Mr. President.