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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations at the 9th Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia


(14 July 2011, UN NLB)

Madam Chair,

I thank 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 greatly contribute to our in-depth discussions on how to address the piracy issue off the Somali coast.

Madam Chair,

Recently, the relevant parties have used the Contact Group on Piracy off the Somali Coast as a platform to engage in international cooperation, and progress has been made in the international efforts to fight piracy.

Nevertheless, acts of piracy are still running rampant, getting industrialized and more violent, and affecting more and more areas.This 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, and call for strengthened coordination and cooperation as well as forging of consensus.

Fighting piracy off the Somali coast requires the sustained support and effective input from the international community. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all parties,the work of the Contact Group is deepening, as evidenced by smooth communication and provision of comprehensive and constructive assistance to Somalia and other coastal countries in the political, military, development and many other areas.China appreciates these efforts and hopes that members of the Contact Group will,on the basis of voluntary participation and consultation on an equal footing, continue to strengthen cooperation and work together for greater effectiveness of the anti-piracy activities.

China supports fighting piracy off the Somali coast and result-oriented international cooperation in this regard under the relevant provisions of international law and the mandates of UN Security Council resolutions.

From January 2009 to early July this year, China has dispatched eight batches of 20 naval warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali coast to engage in escort missions for 3,977 vessels.This has contributed to the efforts to protect Chinese and foreign vessels passing through the Somali coastal area, and maintain the shipping and navigation order in the region.

China will continue to strengthen coordination and information sharing in military activities with the parties concerned on the basis of voluntary participation and consultation on an equal footing.

It has to be emphasized that military action can only partially mitigate the scourge of piracy, whose root causes are on the land.Fundamental settlement of the root causes hinges on the political stability, economic development and social tranquility of Somalia.

We sincerely hope the parties concerned in Somalia will strengthen unity, give top priority to the interests of the country and people,take an active part in the peace process,and resolve their disputes through dialogue and consultation, so as to put a swift end to the war, and achieve lasting peace and national reconstruction.

This is a major event involving the peace and development of the Horn of Africa, and the continent of Africa at large.The international community has every reason to continue to put great emphasis on the issue.At the current stage,it is especially important to focus on the post-transitional situation, make early and integrated planning and arrangements,continue to adopt a holistic and multifaceted strategy to provide support to Somalia, tackle both the symptoms and root causes of the problem, and honor the commitments to provide assistance to Somalia.

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 coastal countries have made important contribution in this regard and their efforts should be fully fully appreciated.

China supports strengthened international cooperation in prosecution of pirates under the framework of the current international law, in respect of the will of Somalia, and on the basis of full consideration of the actual conditions of the region and the issue of piracy off the Somali coast.China commends the report on establishment of a judicial mechanism for the piracy issue submitted by the Secretary-General recently. We appreciate the great deal of work done by the UNDP and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to strengthen the judicial capacity building of Somalia and other countries in the region.

We call on the international community to continue to provide necessary assistance to the coastal countries in their judicial capacity building under the premise that there is adequate communication with the relevant countries.China will continue to work with all parties concerned to have in-depth discussions of the international judicial cooperation against piracy.

Many coastal countries in Africa play an indispensable role in effectively combating piracy off the Somali coast.It is therefore necessary to give active support to these countries in their capacity building and provide them with sufficient assistance.

Since 2007,China has provided assistance to Somalia and other coastal countries in the area within its capacity.We provided 1.6 million US dollars and 30 million yuan in cash to the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia, and 5 million yuan to Uganda and Burundi respectively to be used for purchase of logistical supplies to support the two countries' participation in African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).In light of the needs on the ground, China will continue to help,through appropriate means,Somalia and other relevant countries to build their capacity.

Regional mechanisms play a crucial role in resolving the Somali issue.China calls on the international community to further enhance the capacity of regional mechanism to respond to the Somali issue, and increase financial, technical and logistical assistance to AMISOM, so as to create conditions for the United Nations to take over the tasks of the AU peacekeeping operations in Somalia at an early date.China will continue to work with the rest of the international community to play a constructive role in promoting the peace process in Somalia.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

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