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UN Resolution 1838 maritime piracy in Somalia (7 Oct. 2008). The text

Resolution 1838/2008 adopted by the United Nations Security Council (New York, 7 October 2008)

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 1814 (2008) et 1816 (2008)

Deeply concerned by the recent increase in acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and the serious threat these acts pose to the effective delivery, delivery times and safety of the delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, on international navigation and on the safety of commercial maritime routes, as well as on fishing activities carried out in accordance with international law,

Noting with concern that increasingly violent acts of piracy are being committed using increasingly heavy weapons, in an ever-expanding area off the coast of Somalia, using large-scale means scope such as supply ships, denoting more sophisticated organization and methods of attack,

Reaffirming that international law, as enacted in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, of 10 December 1982 ("the Convention"), defines the legal framework for combating piracy and theft armed robbery, among other maritime activities,
Welcoming the contribution made by certain States since November 2007 to the protection of maritime convoys of the World Food Programme, the creation by the European Union of a coordination unit responsible for supporting surveillance and protection actions carried out by certain Member States of the Union off the coast of Somalia and the ongoing planning of a possible European Union military naval operation, as well as other international and national initiatives taken for the purpose of implementing resolutions 1814 (2008) and 1816 (2008),

Noting that humanitarian agencies have recently reported that by the end of the year as many as 3,5 million Somalis will be dependent on humanitarian food aid, and that shipping companies acting on behalf of the World Food Program will not deliver food aid to Somalia unless escorted by naval units, declaring its determination to ensure the long-term security of World Food Program deliveries to Somalia and recalling that in its resolution 1814 (2008), it had requested the Secretary-General to support the action to protect the maritime convoys of the World Food Programme,

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

Taking note of the letter of 1 September 2008 from the President of Somalia to the Secretary-General of the United Nations expressing his gratitude to the Council for the assistance provided by the Transitional Federal Government and willing to consider working with other States, as well as regional organizations, to provide advance notifications in addition to those already provided pursuant to paragraph 7 of resolution 1816 (2008) in order to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia,

Recalling that in the declaration of its President dated 4 September 2008 (S/PRST/2008/33), he welcomed the signing in Djibouti of a peace and reconciliation agreement and paid tribute to Mr. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia for his constant efforts, and underlined the importance of promoting a comprehensive and lasting settlement in Somalia,

Recalling also that in the declaration of its President dated 4 September 2008 (S/PRST/2008/33), he noted that in the Djibouti Agreement, the parties requested the United Nations to authorize and deploy an international stabilization force within 120 days and looked forward to the report that the Secretary-General must submit within 60 days, including a detailed and consolidated description of a feasible multinational force, as well as a detailed operation plan for a feasible United Nations peacekeeping operation,

Emphasizing that peace and stability, the strengthening of State institutions, economic and social development and respect for human rights and the rule of law are necessary to create conditions conducive to the total eradication piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia,

Considering that acts of piracy or armed robbery committed against 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. Reaffirms that it condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery committed against ships off the coast of Somalia;

2. Calls upon all States concerned with the safety of maritime activities to participate actively in the fight against piracy targeting ships on the high seas off the coast of Somalia, in particular by deploying warships or military aircraft there. , in accordance with international law, as enacted in the Convention;

3. Calls upon all States with warships or military aircraft operating off the coast of Somalia, on the high seas or in the superjacent airspace, to use all necessary means off the coast of Somalia, on the high seas or in the superjacent airspace, in accordance with international law as enacted in the Convention, to repress acts of piracy;

4. Urges all States in a position to do so to cooperate with the Transitional Federal Government in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 1816 (2008);

5. Also urges all States and regional organizations to continue to act, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 1814 (2008), to protect the maritime convoys of the World Food Program, which is of vital importance for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Somali population;

6. Urges States, in accordance in particular with resolution A-1002(25) of the International Maritime Organization, to provide, as appropriate, to ships entitled to fly their national flags with advice and guidance on the measures appropriate protective measures to protect themselves against attack or the action to be taken in the event of an attack or threat of attack while navigating off the coast of Somalia;

7. Calls upon States and regional organizations acting for the purposes of the application of paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 above to coordinate their action;

8. Affirms that the provisions of this resolution apply only to the situation in Somalia and do not affect the rights, obligations or responsibilities of Member States deriving from international law, including rights or obligations under the Convention, for what is of any situation, and stresses in particular that this resolution cannot be considered as establishing customary international law;

9. Awaits with interest the report he requested from the Secretary-General in paragraph 13 of his resolution 1816 (2008), and intends to examine the situation relating to piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coasts of Somalia, with the intention, in particular, of renewing for an additional period, at the request of the Transitional Federal Government, the authorizations granted in paragraph 7 of resolution 1816 (2008);

10. 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).