Let me start by thanking all Council members for their constructive engagement over the past months towards reaching an agreement on this resolution. In particular, I want to thank our co-pen Ghana for the excellent cooperation every step of the way. Our thanks also extend to Kenya, Gabon, and other regional countries for their support since the start.
We have just adopted the first Council resolution on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea in 10 years. Amidst a difficult moment for the world, this resolution addresses an important issue both for the relevant African regions themselves, and beyond.
Every day, more than a thousand boats and ships crisscross the waters of the Gulf of Guinea. It is crucial for the development and economic welfare of dozens of countries in West, Central and Southern Africa.
According to a recent UN study, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea costs coastal states at least 2 billion USD a year. Even with the encouraging progress being made – helped by renewed efforts by countries like Nigeria – the Gulf of Guinea remains the world’s most dangerous place for ships and seafarers.
That is why this resolution is so important. It aims to increase security for ships and sailors in the Gulf, and at the same time to safeguard the economic potential of countries in the region. And it reaffirms that UNCLOS setes out the legal framework for all ocean activties globally.
Next year marks the 10-year anniversary for the Yaoundé Code of Conduct. This resolution will hopefully help make a strong push towards fully addressing the threat, and cost, of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea.