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UN Resolution 1816 on Somalia (June 2, 2008). The text

Resolution 1816 adopted by the United Nations Security Council (New York, June 2, 2008)

  The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President regarding the situation in Somalia,

Deeply concerned about the threat posed by acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships to the effective delivery, delivery times and security of the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, to the safety of commercial maritime routes and international navigation,

Expressing concern that the quarterly reports published since 2005 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) show that acts of piracy and armed robbery continue to occur, in particular in the waters off the Somali Coast,

Affirming that international law, as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, dated 10 December 1982 (“the Convention”), defines the legal framework applicable to the fight against piracy and theft armed robbery, among other activities carried out on the oceans,

Reaffirming the provisions of international law concerning the suppression of piracy, in particular the Convention, and recalling that these provisions establish the guiding principles for the fullest possible co-operation in the suppression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place under the jurisdiction of any State, including, among other measures, to board, search and seize ships engaged in or suspected of engaging in acts of piracy and to apprehend persons engaging in such acts with a view to bringing them to justice,

Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,

Taking into account the crisis in Somalia and the fact that the Transitional Federal Government does not have the means either to keep pirates at bay or to patrol the international maritime traffic lanes close to the coast of the country or in its territorial waters and to ensure its safety,

Deploring recent incidents in which ships have been attacked or hijacked in Somalia's territorial waters or on the high seas off its coast, including the attack or hijacking of ships chartered by the World Food Program and numerous commercial vessels, deploring the serious repercussions of these attacks on the effective delivery, delivery times and security of the delivery of food aid and other humanitarian relief intended for the Somali populations, and deploring the serious dangers these attacks represent for the ships, their crews, their passengers and their cargo,

Noting the letters dated 5 July and 18 September 2007 addressed to the Secretary-General by the Secretary-General of IMO concerning the problems of piracy off the coast of Somalia and IMO resolution A.1002 (25), in which governments were urged to increase their efforts to prevent and suppress, in accordance with the provisions of international law, acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships wherever they occur , and recalling the joint communiqué of the IMO and the World Food Program dated 10 July 2007,

Taking note of the letter dated 9 November 2007 from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council informing him that the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia needs and would welcome international assistance to address the problem ,

Further taking note of the letter that the Permanent Representative of the Somali Republic to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council on 27 February 2008 indicating to him that the Transitional Federal Government requested the Security Council to to help, as a matter of urgency, to ensure the security of Somali territorial waters and international waters off the coast of the country, in order to guarantee the safety of maritime transport and navigation there,

Noting that acts of piracy and armed robbery suffered by ships in the territorial waters of Somalia or on the high seas off its coasts, aggravate the situation in the country, which continues to threaten international peace and regional security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery committed against ships in the territorial waters of Somalia or on the high seas off its coasts;

2. Calls upon States whose warships and military aircraft operate on the high seas off the coast of Somalia, or in the international airspace off those coasts, to exercise vigilance with regard to acts of piracy and armed robbery, and, in this spirit, urges in particular States wishing to use the commercial maritime routes off the coast of Somalia to strengthen and coordinate, in cooperation with the Transitional Federal Government, the action conducted to deter acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea;

3. Calls upon all States to cooperate with each other, with IMO and, as appropriate, with relevant regional organizations, with regard to acts of piracy and armed robbery committed in the territorial waters of Somalia and in the high sea ​​off its coasts and to communicate to each other all information relating thereto, and to render assistance to ships threatened or attacked by pirates or armed robbers, in accordance with applicable international law;

4. Further urges States to cooperate with relevant organizations, including the International Maritime Organization, to ensure that ships entitled to fly their national flag receive appropriate guidance and training in avoidance techniques , evasion and defense, and to avoid the area when possible;

5. Calls upon States and interested organizations, including the International Maritime Organization, to provide Somalia and neighboring coastal States, upon their request, with technical assistance aimed at enhancing the capacity of those States to ensure coastal security and maritime, including the fight against piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and the coasts of neighboring countries;

6. Affirms that the measures enacted in paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and elaborated in paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1425 (2002) do not apply to the provision of technical assistance to Somalia solely for the purposes set forth in paragraph 5 above, which are the subject of a derogation in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraphs 11 (b) and 12 of resolution 1772 (2007);

7. Decides that, for a period of six months from the adoption of this resolution, States cooperating with the Transitional Federal Government in the fight against piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and whose names the Transitional Federal Government has previously communicated to the Secretary General are authorized:

(a) To enter the territorial waters of Somalia in order to suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, in a manner consistent with action permitted on the high seas in cases of piracy under applicable international law ;

(b) To use within the territorial waters of Somalia, in a manner consistent with action permitted on the high seas in respect of piracy under applicable international law, all means necessary to suppress acts of piracy and theft armed hand;

8. Calls upon Cooperating States to take the necessary steps to ensure that their activities pursuant to the authorization granted in paragraph 7 of this resolution will not have the practical effect of denying or restricting the right to innocent passage of vessels from third States;

9. Affirms that the authorization given in this resolution applies only to the situation in Somalia and does not affect any rights, obligations or responsibilities of Member States under international law, including any rights or obligations under of the Convention with respect to any other situation, and stresses in particular that it cannot be considered as establishing customary international law, and further affirms that this authorization has been given only upon receipt of the letter dated 27 February 2008 addressed to the President of the Security Council by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Somalia to the United Nations and conveying the agreement of the Transitional Federal Government;

10. Calls upon participating States to co-ordinate among themselves the measures they take pursuant to paragraphs 5 and 7 above;

11. Calls upon all States, in particular flag States, port States and coastal States, as well as States of nationality of victims or perpetrators of acts of piracy or armed robbery and States whose jurisdiction is affected under international law or their national legislation, to cooperate in order to determine the appropriate jurisdiction and to take the necessary measures to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of acts of piracy and armed robberies off the coast of Somalia, in accordance with applicable international law, including international human rights law, and to support these efforts, including by providing assistance with logistics and access to waterways rights to persons under their jurisdiction and control, such as victims, witnesses and persons detained in connection with operations carried out pursuant to this resolution;

12. Requests the States which cooperate with the Transitional Federal Government to inform it within three months of the application of the measures which they have taken in execution of the authorization resulting from paragraph 7 above;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it, within five months of the adoption of this resolution, on its implementation and on the situation regarding piracy and armed robbery in territorial waters and on the high seas off the coast of Somalia;

14. Requests the Secretary-General of IMO to report to it, on the basis of cases brought to its attention by agreement of all affected coastal States and with due regard to existing bilateral and regional cooperation arrangements, on the situation regarding piracy and armed robbery;

15. Intends to monitor the situation and, if necessary, consider renewing for additional periods the authorization resulting from paragraph 7 above if the Transitional Federal Government so requests;

16. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).