The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to urge states to deploy naval vessels and military aircraft to actively fight piracy on the high seas off the coast of Somalia.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1838, the council called upon states with naval vessels and military aircraft operating in the area to use, on the high seas and airspace off the coast of Somalia, the necessary means to repress acts of piracy in a manner consistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The council urged states that had the capacity to do so to cooperate with Somalia's Transitional Federal Government to enter Somalia's territorial waters and use "all necessary means" to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea in a manner consistent with international law.
States and regional organizations were urged to continue to take action to protect the World Food Program (WFP) convoys, which was "vital" to bring humanitarian assistance to the affected populations in Somalia, it said.
In the France-drafted resolution, the council reiterated that it "condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea against vessels off the coast of Somalia."
The council said it was "gravely concerned by the recent proliferation of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea against vessels off the coast of Somalia, and by the serious threat it poses to the prompt, safe and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, to international navigation and the safety of commercial maritime routes, and to fishing activities conducted in conformity with international law."
It also noted with concern that "increasingly violent acts of piracy are carried out with heavier weaponry, in a larger area off the coast of Somalia, using long-range assets such as mother ships, and demonstrating more sophisticated organization and methods of attack."
In a similar resolution adopted on June 2, the 15-member body urged states to enter Somalia's territorial waters and actively fight piracy off the coast of Somalia.
(Xinhua News Agency October 8, 2008)