|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations,at the Eleventh Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia|
I thank you for convening today's meeting. I also thank chairman 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.
The issue of piracy off the Somali coast has always posed a serious threat to stability and development of the region as well as safety and security of international shipping. In recent years, the parties concerned have been engaged in international cooperation under the framework of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and progress has been made in this regard. China appreciates these efforts. Nevertheless, acts of piracy are still running rampant and getting apparently industrialized and violent, with increased all-weather piracy capabilities and expanding scope of attacks. It is imperative for the international community to strengthen coordination and cooperation to cope with these developments.
China supports combating piracy off the Somali coast and the related practical international cooperation under the relevant international law and Security Council resolutions. The Chinese Navy started to dispatch escort warships to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali waters in January 2009. By the end of March this year, China has dispatched eleven batches of 28 warships to engage in escort missions for 4,543 vessels in 431 batches, more than half of which are foreign vessels. The escort missions are 100% successful. We rescued 48 vessels which were attacked and chased by pirates, and escorted 8 vessels which were released after abduction. These efforts have contributed to the safety and security of Chinese and foreign vessels passing through the Somali coastal area, as well as the shipping and navigation order in the region. China also cooperated with the European Union on many occasions in escort missions for food-delivering ships of the UN World Food Programme. China successfully held an international escort seminar in Nanjing, China on 23 February. 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.
China is pleased to note that the international community has come to realize that the root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia are on land, and fundamental settlement of the piracy issue hinges on the political stability, economic development and social tranquility of Somalia. China welcomes the progress made by the TFG in implementing the Kampala Accord and the Somalia End of Transition Roadmap, and hopes that the relevant parties in Somalia will strengthen cooperation, resolve their disputes, and end the transitional period as scheduled. China welcomes the progress made by the Somali security forces, AMISOM and the countries concerned in combating Al-Shabaab and other armed rebel groups. China welcomes and supports the adoption of Security Council resolution 2036 that strengthens AMISOM.
We call on the international community to continue to put great emphasis on the situation in Somalia, provide consistent and comprehensive support to the country on different dimensions and in a wide range of areas, and faithfully fulfill its commitments to assisting Somalia. The international community should further enhance the capacity of regional mechanisms to respond to the Somali issue, and vigorously support and give sufficient assistance to the coastal countries in their capacity building efforts. In the meantime, it should continue to increase financial, technical and logistical assistance to AMISOM, and 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 international community and play a constructive role in promoting the peace process in Somalia.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.