News / Africa

UN Report Urges New Anti-Piracy Measures

A new United Nations report urges a number of new measures to combat piracy, including the establishment of special courts.

Jack Lang, appointed last year as a special United Nations adviser on legal issues related to Somali piracy, told the U.N. Security Council the piracy situation is serious, even worsening, with an increase of violence. The former French official said pirates are becoming the masters, in a way, of the Indian Ocean. Lang added there is a race between the pirates and the international community, and that race is being won by the pirates.

Lang urged countries to lift the legal obstacles to prosecuting and imprisoning pirates and he recommended that all countries incorporate the crime of piracy in their legal codes. He also pointed to the lack of prison capacity in the region to accommodate convicted pirates. But, speaking through a translator, he said even if current measures are improved, problems will remain as pirates operate with impunity.

"Nine out of ten are released because no jurisdiction is prepared to prosecute them and this is why, ladies and gentlemen, I decided to find other solutions, other options that would not replace but would complement the very important solutions that you yourselves supported and encouraged," he said.

Lang recommended the establishment of special courts to put pirates on trial in two regions of Somalia - Puntland and Somaliland - as well as in Tanzania. He also urged the increase of prison capacity in Puntland and Somaliland and called for action against the heads of the piracy gangs. Lang estimated that the cost of his recommendations over three years would be $25 million compared to what he estimated is the $5 to $7 billion cost of combating Indian Ocean piracy. He urged the Security Council to act quickly and firmly.

Security Council members responding to the U.N. report generally agreed that the time has come for decisive measures - as Russia’s representative Vitaly Churkin put it. United States ambassador Susan Rice told the Security Council that prevention, prosecution and incarceration are essential elements of any counter-piracy initiative. She said the United States supports the suggestion of the U.N. report that all countries criminalize piracy and she welcomed the report’s call for all countries to strengthen their ability to prosecute pirates.

"As we continue to discuss additional mechanisms, we should also support and strengthen prosecution-related programs in the region that are already underway. My government also remains open to exploring creative solutions to increase and facilitate domestic prosecutions," she said.

Rice said the United States supports further consideration of the special piracy courts suggested by the U.N. report.

Jack Lang, author of the U.N. report, commented after the Security Council discussion, that he felt hope had emerged from the meeting.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid