SC: Maritime Security - Nordic Statement

Nordic statement at the UN Security Council open debate on 'Enhancing Maritime Security: A case for international cooperation', 9 August 2021.

Mr President,

Members of the Security Council,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries - Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country Denmark. First and foremost, we want to thank India for convening this timely debate.

The Nordic countries reaffirm their commitment to countering the threat of current as well as emerging hostile acts within the maritime domain. Enhancing maritime security calls for increased international cooperation.

Measures to counter hostile actions are found in inter alia the Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is the framework within which all activities in the oceans and sea must be carried out, and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation. Those key conventions are the cornerstones of the international legal framework.

At present maritime seurity challenges occur all around the globe.

The Nordic countries are especially concerned by the situation in the Gulf of Guinea. The Gulf of Guinea remains a major epicentre for offshore piracy and other maritime crimes affecting global trade. Kidnapping for ransom has reached a critical level and the region now accounts for 95 percent of all global cases of kidnapping at sea.

While addressing the short term needs is necessary, it is important that the international community maintains its focus on the long term as well. In this context, military capabilities alone will not solve the maritime security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea. An integrated and comprehensive approach is essential, thus the international community should also focus on key regions where maritime security is weak and work in close partnership with regional organisations to help build local capacity to strengthen maritime security.

In light of this, the Nordic countries reiterate their deep and genuine appreciation of UNODC’s efforts to develop judicial and law enforcement capacity building at both the national and regional level.

Piracy is a land-born issue linked to social and economic issues in the affected states. Therefore, the the international community and national governments should work to address the contributing causes of offshore piracy, including by offering alternative means of livelihood and address local grievances. Regional co-operation, however important, cannot supplant the crucial role of each Member State in preventing pirates from using land territory to carry out pirate attacks or armed robbery at sea. Regional co-operation cannot function without full commitment of those taking part.

Mr. President,

Please allow me to turn to the situation in and around the Strait of Hormuz, the Red Sea and along the cost of Yemen, in which tensions remain.

The Nordic countries are deeply concerned about the last years’ developments in including the unlawful attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, in violation of international law, including the law of the sea,  which resulted in the loss of two innocent people from the United Kingdom and Romania. The Nordic countries condemn this heinous attack in the strongest possible terms and our thoughts are with the crew and families of those killed in the  attack.

The Nordic countries remain committed to ensure the security and de-escalation in the Gulf and the wider region. Dialogue with regional partners on issues related to maritime security and information sharing – as well as the broader regional security situation - are key to improved maritime situational awareness, which is essential for combatting maritime security challenges in and around the Strait of Hormuz.

Mr. President,

The Nordic countries reiterate their strong commitment to preventing and countering the maritime security challenges through a holistic approach, embedded in human rights and fundamental freedoms. These rights, particularly of women and girls, deserve due consideration, also when it comes to maritime security challenges. Women’s meaningful participation is not only crucial because it is key to fully implement the WPS agenda, but also to increase the effectiveness of measures and policies aimed to prevent and counter maritime security challenges. In this regard, we reiterate our commitment to promote and support the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on women, peace and security.

A comprehensive and devoted approach to maritime security is essential to safeguarding common prosperity and security interests within the maritime domain, including our shared abitions for sustainability.

Thank you.