The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on combating piracy in West Africa. The resolution was introduced at the initiative of Norway and Ghana, who have led the negotiations.
“The waters off West Africa are the most dangerous in the world. Pirates have posed a threat to the safety of ships sailing in the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa for more than 10 years.
“The adoption of the resolution by the Security Council today is an important step in countering this threat,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
The Minister went on to say that improving security at sea in this region will help to increase economic growth for the coastal states and enhance the safety of seafarers.
This is the first resolution on combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to be adopted in ten years.
The Gulf of Guinea stretches from Senegal in the north to Angola in the south, covering roughly 6 000 kilometres of coastline. Every day, some 1 500 fishing vessels, tankers and container ships navigate these waters. The Gulf of Guinea is an important shipping zone for the transport of oil, gas and goods to and from central and southern Africa.
Acts of piracy have significant adverse impacts on exports, trade and investments in the countries on Africa’s west coast. A UN study estimates that piracy costs the coastal states in the Gulf of Guinea around USD2 billion per year.
The costs of reduced investments and lost economic growth amount to tens of billions of dollars in addition to this.