The Security Council today renewed for an additional 12 months its authorization for States and regional organizations cooperating with Somalia to use all necessary means to fight piracy off the coast of the East African country, with voting results announced virtually in accordance with the temporary silence procedure* adopted for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2554 (2020), the Council decided, for a further period of 12 months from the date of the resolution, to renew the authorizations, as set out in paragraph 14 of resolution 2500 (2019), granted to States and regional organizations cooperating with Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, for which advance notification has been provided by Somali authorities to the Secretary‑General.
The Security Council welcomed the fact that there were no successful piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia in the prior 12 months and noted that joint counter-piracy efforts have resulted in a steady decline in pirate attacks, as well as in hijackings, since 2011. However, it also recognized the ongoing threat that resurgent piracy and armed robbery at sea posed.
This year’s text noted that the Council recognized the importance of capacity‑building and requested donors to consider providing support to reinforce Somalia’s national coast guard capacities through human resources development, training, equipping and building of coastal guard stations.
The Council also called upon the Somali authorities to make all efforts to bring to justice those who are using Somali territory to plan, facilitate or undertake criminal acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, and urged Member States to assist Somalia, at the request of Somali authorities and with notification to the Secretary-General, to strengthen maritime capacity in Somalia.
The Council renewed its call upon States and regional organizations to take part in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.
It decided that the arms embargo on Somalia imposed by paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and further elaborated upon by paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1425 (2002) and modified by paragraphs 33 to 38 of resolution 2093 (2013) does not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment or the provision of assistance destined for the sole use of Member States, international, regional and subregional organizations undertaking measures in accordance with paragraph 14, as most recently reaffirmed by operative paragraph 19(b) of resolution 2551 (2020).
The Council also called upon all States to take appropriate actions under their existing domestic law, or develop legislative processes, to prevent the illicit financing of acts of piracy and the laundering of its proceeds.
In addition, the Council urged all States to ensure that counter-piracy activities, particularly land-based activities, take into consideration the need to protect women and children from exploitation, including sexual exploitation.
It also urged all States to share information with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) for use in the global piracy database, through appropriate channels.
The representative of Germany delivered a written statement in explanation of vote. Noting that his delegation voted in favour of the resolution, he spotlighted operative paragraphs 11 and 29, and reiterated Germany’s understanding that this resolution not only includes cooperation with the Federal Government of Somalia, but with all relevant Somali authorities including the Federal Member States.
He also underscored that the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia have supported various capacity‑building initiatives at federal and state level. Dialogue and cooperation between the Somali authorities on federal and state levels are essential to build up effective maritime security capacities and working coast guard structures capable of securing the sea off the coast of Somalia.
* Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March (China).