We thank the briefers for their important insights. And we appreciate the recommendations provided by the Peacebuilding Commission, which underline the importance of Council and PBC collaboration.
We also thank Ghana and all colleagues for our close cooperation on this issue and particularly on the first resolution in ten years on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, adopted earlier this year.
Colleagues, Resolution 2634 is a strong call to action!
The subsequent Secretary-General report confirms the devastating effects of maritime insecurity on Africa’s stability and economy and on the safety of seafarers.
As a maritime nation, Norway knows the importance of safe waters for trade, and socio-economic development. In addition to stopping pirates and armed robbers - putting an end to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is also key to a sustainable blue economy.
Let me reiterate in this regard how crucial it is that all activities at sea are carried out in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – which sets out the legal framework for all ocean activities globally.
We are encouraged by the recent positive progress on improved maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. Acts of piracy and armed robberies at sea in the Gulf have halved: from 27 cases during the first three quarters of 2021 to 13 this year. We strongly commend countries in the region for their strong leadership in making this happen.
This includes Nigeria’s “Deep Blue” project, as well as several countries in the Gulf of Guinea having adopted laws allowing for the prosecution of pirates. And we commend Council members Gabon and Ghana for leading the way by implementing important new regulations and laws. ECOWAS, ECCAS, UNOWAS and UNOCA have also signalled renewed and efforts to on maritime security.
In addition, we are happy to see that international partners are responding to this Council’s call to action. We particularly thank the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea, chaired by Côte d'Ivoire and Germany.
Despite recent progress, both politically and practically: Now is the time to step up our efforts even further. Now is the time to end the menace of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.
As the Secretary-General notes in his report: The forthcoming tenth anniversary of the Yaoundé architecture offers an opportunity to stake stock, and outline a strategic vision for the next decade.
In doing so, we should keep in mind the underlying root causes, so that all our progress remains in place. A critical factor is to not forget about opportunities for youth so that they don’t get lured, or pushed into, piracy or other forms of crime.
Together with Ghana and other regional and global leaders, Norway will continue our support for maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, both during and after our term on the Security Council.
We pledge to continue support to capacity-building through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. We are further discussing with ECOWAS how we can support their efforts.
We will also continue to contribute through the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea, including at its meeting in Abidjan at the beginning of next month. And we stand ready to contribute to making next year’s ‘Yaoundé+10’ anniversary a meaningful and implementation-focused success.