Piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden continue to threaten the people of Somalia, the whole region and a series of protective interests. These interests include innocent lives, humanitarian supplies and international commerce and navigation. 1000 Norwegian owned ships pass through the Gulf of Aden every year. We are also directly affected and we are acting accordingly.
The root of piracy and armed robbery is instability and weakening of government institutions in Somalia. Consequently in order to restore order on the seas we must work to restore order on land in Somalia. Bringing peace and stability to Somalia, re-establishing effective government institutions in the country, are essential for a long-term solution also to piracy. Humanitarian, development and security assistance are therefore needed and Norway is conscious of this and shouldering our part.
Norway will also be chairing the next meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) which will take place here in New York in January.
We are beginning to see the effects of preventive measures taken by the shipping industry. The Best Management Practices adopted by the Contact Group on Piracy are thus serving their purpose, and implementation by all needs to be further encouraged.
Moreover, the naval operations in the waters outside Somalia have prevented new captures even if we have not prevented all. These operations are well co-ordinated and may set a good example on how nations and international organisations can co-operate in order to solve an international security problem. Norway has experienced this firsthand through our participation with a frigate in EU’s Operation Atalanta. We appreciate the contributions by a great number of countries and organisations.
Now, we must make sure that pirates captured are brought to justice. We greatly appreciate the contributions of countries in the region, in particular Kenya and the Seychelles. We recognise that there is a need for increased capacity in these the most affected countries. That is why Norway has decided to contribute 500.000 Euro to the Trust Fund established within the auspices of the Contact Group on Piracy.
Public perceptions are important. We know that many Somalis consider piracy to be a criminal activity. We know less about how the entire international engagement is being perceived in Somalia. We therefore believe that the Contact Group should implement the communication and information strategy for Somalia. We must be able to convince the Somalis that this operation is also serving their interests, and to counter any notion that piracy is seen as a just cause by parts of the Somali society.
In concluding, Mr President, Norway will continue to support the Security Council in its efforts to address piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Thank you, Mr President.