|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Seventh Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia|
I join other colleagues in thanking you for convening today's meeting. I also thank chairs of each working group for their briefings as well as statements made by the relevant parties. These briefings and statements will contribute to our in-depth discussions on how to address the piracy issue of the Somali coast.
Recently, progress has been made in the international efforts to fight piracy off the Somali coast. Nevertheless, acts of piracy still run rampant, affecting more areas and posing a huge threat to regional peace and stability as well as international navigation and shipping. This has drawn continued attention from all parties. It shows that the root causes of piracy off the Somali coast are far from being eliminated, and the international efforts to combat piracy remain a long and uphill battle.
China highly commends the efforts that have been made by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. At present, the work of the Contact 'Group is intensifying with better communication among the relevant parties. It has provided Somalia and the relevant countries off the Somali coast positive and comprehensive assistance in the political, security and development dimensions. The Contact Group has become an important platform for international cooperation on the issue. China is encouraged by this development and hopes that members of the Contact Group will continue to strengthen cooperation and improve the effectiveness of the anti-piracy efforts on the basis of voluntary participation and consultation on an equal footing.
China has noted that with the deepening of the international efforts to combat piracy off the Somali coast, the issue of prosecution and trial of pirates is getting more and more challenging. Kenya, Seychelles and a few other countries have made important contribution in this regard and their efforts should be commended and appreciated. China supports strengthened international cooperation in prosecution of pirates under the framework of the current international law. We call on the international community to provide necessary assistance to the littoral countries in their judicial capacity building. China welcomes appointment of the Special Adviser on Legal Issues related to Piracy off Coast of Somali by the Secretary-General. China will continue to work with all parties concerned to have in-depth discussions on the international judicial cooperation against piracy.
It needs to be emphasized that measures such as naval escort, armed apprehension and judicial trial can only contain, rather than root out thoroughly, acts of piracy off the Somali coast. The key to resolving the issue of piracy in the region lies in pushing for political and social stability and economic development in Somalia. We urge relevant parties in Somalia to strengthen unity, promote the peace process, and put an end to the war and start reconstruction of the country at an early date. The international community should also continue to strengthen coordination, deliver on its commitment to providing assistance to Somalia, and take a holistic approach to resolving the piracy issue.
Since the establishment of the Contact Group, China has taken an active part in the meetings and activities of the Group and its affiliated working groups. Pursuant to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, Chinese naval warships have carried out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali coast since January 2009. A total of seven escort flotillas have been dispatched to the region. As of November 2010, Chinese naval fleets have been engaged in escort missions for 2,871 vessels in 263 batches, contributing significantly to protecting the safety and security of Chinese and foreign vessels and personnel navigating in the region, improving the humanitarian situation in Somalia, and maintaining peace in the region.
China will continue to work with all parties concerned under the UN framework to bring about an early and appropriate settlement of the piracy issue off the Somali coast.
Thank you, Mr. President.