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27 AUGUST 2010
RP REITERATES CALL FOR GREATER GLOBAL COOPERATION IN FIGHT AGAINST PIRACY
25 August 2010, United Nations, New York – In a meeting today of the United Nations Security Council, the Philippines reiterated its call for greater global cooperation in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia and welcomed the report of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon containing proposals that seek to address this issue.
Citing the particular fact that many Filipino seafarers have suffered at the hands of Somali pirates, Deputy Permanent Representative and Charge d’Affaires Carlos D. Sorreta said “to fight piracy, we believe that broader cooperation is key and it is in this context that we welcome the report of the Secretary-General.”
“The security, protection and welfare of Filipino seafarers have always been the primary concerns of the Philippine Government -- concerns which I am sure are shared by others with nationals serving on these ships,” Mr. Sorreta told the members of the Security Council.
In calling for greater global action, Mr. Sorreta cited the importance of giving due regard to the victims, saying “beyond ships and cargoes, there is the crew.”
“In all, 46 ships with Filipinos as crew have been taken by pirates. Almost five hundred Filipino seafarers have been held hostage,” Mr. Sorreta said, adding “Many suffer prolonged captivity, some as long as ten months. It is a testimony to their courage, clear thinking and fortitude that they survive. It is a tribute to their resilience and that of their families that many are able to return to the sea.”
Mr. Sorreta also recognized that the root causes of piracy can be found in the current political and security situation in Somalia. “Piracy is a grave threat to international security and we join others in citing the importance of addressing its roots causes through a comprehensive approach. We are grateful to the many countries involved and committed to this task,” Mr. Sorreta pointed out.
In his statement, Mr. Sorreta shared the actions being taken by the Philippines, including working with other states, ship owners and manning agencies to ensure the safety of Filipino seafarers.
In closing, Mr. Sorreta said that 81 Filipino seafarers remain in the clutches of Somali pirates and that “we pray for their safe release, and hope that our actions here today will somehow help lead to their freedom and to preventing others from suffering the same fate.”
At the same meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Legal Counsel Patricia O’Brian also delivered statements. END.
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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