Adoption of the Maritime Security Resolution Explanation of Vote before the Vote


Madam. President,
On behalf of Norway and my own country, Ghana, the co-penholders of the draft resolution on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea, I wish to thank the United States for convening this meeting to consider the draft resolution contained in document S/2022/62 on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea under the agenda item “Peace and Security in Africa”. As Members of the Council are aware, it has been ten years since the Security Council adopted its last resolution on maritime piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea. Despite the global nature of the threat, the region remains the global hot spot for maritime piracy and recorded 130 maritime kidnappings out of the 135 global incidents in 2020, in addition to all the 40 kidnapped crew recorded globally in the first quarter of 2021.

In that regard, urgent attention is required in combating the menace since it is detrimental to the development of coastal economies in the region and risks compounding the multifaceted challenges facing the region including a surge in terrorism , a return of coup d’états, a deepening of climate change as well as the worsening impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is for these reasons, and mindful of the fact that maritime piracy is one of the foremost security concerns on the African continent, that Ghana and Norway, jointly initiated the resolution to re- focus global attention and garner the necessary support to help address the situation of the Gulf of Guinea. The resolution builds on existing frameworks including resolutions 2018 (2011), 2039 (2012), and the existing comprehensive regional framework, notably the Yaounde Code of Conduct. Its operative core focuses on the need to criminalize and prosecute acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, as well as on measures to further enhance and support national, regional, and international efforts in dealing with the situation. The resolution requests the Secretary-General to report on current efforts, including assessing the possible links between piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea and terrorism in West Africa, combined with recommendations for enhanced efforts and support for national and regional responses.

It is pertinent to underline that the negotiations commenced in early January, with three rounds of formal negotiations, after which multiple bilateral engagements were held with delegations to address their respective concerns. Throughout the process, the copenholders have diligently engaged all delegations and in an open
and transparent manner to ensure that we had as an outcome a good balance of the views of all Members.
After the conclusion of negotiations in late January, 10 Council members and an overwhelming number of non-Council members co-sponsored the resolution for which we are grateful.

However, the adoption was deferred due to last-minute objections raised by a delegation regarding preambular paragraph three (3) of the resolution which relates to UNCLOS. Pursuant to our desire from the beginning until now to ensure that the concerns of all delegations are considered, and out of respect for the negotiation process and the many delegations who co-sponsored the resolution, we re-engaged with the concerned delegation to find text that
ensured that the language in the resolution is acceptable to all.

Madam President,
After a long haul of re-engaging with delegations on the issue, we are pleased that delegations have been able to show flexibility and compromise leading to a draft resolution that enjoys the consensus of all delegations. We are grateful.
The compromise reached has enabled us to maintain the agreed language on UNCLOS in preambular paragraph three (3) of the resolution which is the most recently agreed language of December 2021, while at the same time linking it to another agreed language which was originally preambular paragraph 18 of the text. The repositioning of the original paragraph 18 and situating it in preambular paragraph 3 underscores the point that had always been
made that the provisions in the resolution apply only with respect to the situation in the Gulf of Guinea.

Madam President,
In concluding, I wish to remind the Council that countries in the region cannot afford to have the already difficult situation they confront to be compounded by the activities of pirates. Any link between the pirates at sea and the terrorist activities on land would have a devastating impact on the region. The fate of this resolution lies in our hands collectively. On behalf of Ghana and Norway, in our joint capacity as co-pens, as well as the member States in the region, I thank all delegations and look forward to their support in adopting this much-awaited resolution, which is critical and, would go a long way to help to galvanize global support against piracy and strengthen regional and
national measures in combating the menace of piracy and other crimes at sea in the region.

I thank you for your kind attention