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UN Resolution 1846 on maritime piracy Somalia (2 December 2008). The text

United Nations Security Council

Resolution 1846 (2008)

Adopted by the Security Council at its 6026th meeting, 2 December 2008

The Security Council, Recalling its previous resolutions regarding the situation in Somalia, in particular resolutions 1814 (2008), 1816 (2008) and 1838 (2008),

Remaining deeply concerned by the threat that acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships pose to the security, speed and efficiency of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Somalia, to international navigation and on the safety of commercial maritime routes, as well as other vulnerable vessels and fishing activities in accordance with international law,

Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia,

Further reaffirming that international law, as set forth in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, dated 10 December 1982 ("the Convention"), provides the legal framework for the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea, among other maritime activities,

Taking into account the crisis facing Somalia and the fact that the Transitional Federal Government does not have the means to keep pirates at bay or to patrol the international shipping lanes off the country's coast or in its territorial waters and ensure their security,

Taking note of the statements of the Transitional Federal Government requesting international assistance to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, including the letter from the President of Somalia addressed on 1 September 2008 to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to tell him that the Transitional Federal Government was grateful to the Council for its assistance and was willing to consider working with other States and regional organizations to combat piracy and armed robbery in sea ​​off the coast of Somalia, the letter dated 20 November 2008 by the Transitional Federal Government requesting that the provisions of resolution 1816 (2008) be extended, and the request made on 20 November to the Security Council by the Permanent Representative of Somalia seeking their extension for a period of 12 months,

Further taking note of the letters addressed to the Secretary-General by the Transitional Federal Government to inform him in advance of the names of States cooperating with it in the fight against piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia as well as letters addressed to the Security Council by other Member States to inform it of the measures they had taken, in accordance with paragraphs 7 and 12 of resolution 1816 (2008), and encouraging the cooperating States whose names had been previously communicated by the Transitional Federal Government to the Secretary General to continue their respective actions,

Reaffirming its resolve to ensure the long-term security of World Food Program (WFP) deliveries to Somalia,

Recalling that, in its resolution 1838 (2008), it welcomed the contribution made by certain States since November 2007 to the protection of WFP maritime convoys and the creation by the European Union of a coordination unit responsible for supporting the actions surveillance and protection activities carried out by certain Member States of the Union off the coast of Somalia, as well as other international and national initiatives taken for the implementation of resolutions 1814 (2008) and 1816 (2008),

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

Welcoming the signing by the Transitional Federal Government and the Alliance for the Second Liberation of Somalia of a peace and reconciliation agreement ("the Djibouti Agreement") on 19 August 2008, and a ceasefire agreement, on 26 October 2008, and noting that the Djibouti Agreement calls for the United Nations to authorize and deploy an international stabilization force, and further taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on Somalia, of November 17, 2008, including his recommendations in this regard,

Welcoming the instrumental role played by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Somalia through the port of Mogadishu and the support provided by AMISOM in the establishment of lasting peace and stability in Somalia and welcoming in particular the important contributions of the Governments of Uganda and Burundi in favor of Somalia,

Welcoming its decision to meet at ministerial level in December 2008 to explore ways to improve international coordination in the fight against piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and to ensure that the international community has the authorizations and means necessary to help him in this action,

Noting that acts of piracy and 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 vessels in the territorial waters of Somalia or on the high seas off its coasts;

2. Notes with concern the conclusions of the report of the Somalia Monitoring Group dated 20 November 2008, according to which the payment of increasingly high ransoms to pirates encourages piracy off the coast of Somalia;

3. Welcomes the efforts made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to update the guidelines and recommendations it has established for the use of shipping companies and governments with a view to preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea and to provide these guidelines as soon as possible to all Member States and to all international shipping companies operating off the coast of Somalia;

4. Requests States, acting in cooperation with shipping companies, insurance companies and the IMO, to ensure that ships flying their flag receive appropriate information and guidance regarding avoidance techniques, evasion and defense and measures to be taken in the event of attack or threat of attack off the coast of Somalia;

5. Further requests States and interested organizations, including IMO, to provide to Somalia and neighboring coastal States, upon their request, technical assistance aimed at strengthening the capacity of those States to ensure coastal security and maritime, including combating acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and the coasts of neighboring countries;

6. Welcomes the initiatives taken by Canada, Denmark, France, India, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as by regional and international organizations to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, in accordance with resolutions 1814 (2008), 1816 (2008) and 1838 (2008), and the decision of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO) to fight against piracy off the Somali coast, in particular by escorting WFP vessels, and welcomes with great satisfaction the decision taken by the European Union, on November 10, 2008, to carry out, for a period of 12 months beginning in December 2008, a naval operation to protect WFP maritime convoys delivering humanitarian aid to Somalia and other vulnerable vessels and to suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia ;

7. Requests States and regional organizations to coordinate, including by exchanging information bilaterally or through the United Nations, their efforts to deter acts of piracy and theft armed robbery committed off the coast of Somalia, cooperating with each other, IMO, international shipping companies, flag States and the Transitional Federal Government;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to it, within three months of the adoption of this resolution, a report on ways to sustainably ensure the security of international navigation off the coast of Somalia, including the security of maritime convoys of WFP making deliveries to Somalia, and the potential coordination and leadership role that the United Nations could play in this regard in mobilizing Member States and regional organizations in the fight against piracy and armed robberies off the coast of Somalia;

9. Requests States and regional organizations that have the means to participate actively in the fight against piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, in particular, in accordance with this resolution and applicable international law, in deploying warships or military aircraft there, and seizing and destroying craft, vessels, weapons and other related material which are being used or which there is reason to believe will be used in the commission of acts of piracy and armed robberies off the coast of Somalia;

10. Decides that, for a period of 12 months from the adoption of this resolution, States and regional organizations cooperating with the Transitional Federal Government in the fight against piracy and offshore armed robbery of the coasts 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 authorized on the high seas in cases of piracy under applicable international law;
(b) To use, in the territorial waters of Somalia, in a manner consistent with action authorized on the high seas in cases of piracy under applicable international law, any means necessary to suppress acts of piracy and theft of armed force at sea;

11. Affirms that the authorizations given in 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 the rights or obligations resulting from the Convention, with regard to any other situation, and emphasizes in particular that the present resolution cannot be regarded as establishing customary international law, and further affirms that the present authorizations were only given following the receipt of the letter dated November 20, 2008, by which the Transitional Federal Government indicated its agreement;

12. Affirms that the measures set out in paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and explained in paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1425 (2002) do not apply to the provision of technical assistance to Somalia for the sole purposes stated in paragraph 5 above, which are subject to an exemption in accordance with the procedure set out in paragraphs 11 (b) and 12 of resolution 1772 (2007);

13. Requests Cooperating States to take appropriate 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 ships of third States;

14. 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 deriving jurisdiction from international law or their domestic law, to cooperate with a view to determining which will have jurisdiction and to take the necessary measures of investigation and prosecution against the perpetrators of acts of piracy and armed robbery committed 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 the exercise of legal remedies vis-à-vis - vis-à-vis persons under their jurisdiction and control, such as victims, witnesses and persons detained in the context of operations carried out pursuant to this resolution;

15. Notes that under the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, States parties are required to criminalize the act of seizing a ship or exercise control through violence or threat of violence or any other form of intimidation, to establish their jurisdiction for the purposes of investigating these offenses, and to accept the surrender of persons responsible or suspected of such acts; and urges States Parties to the said Convention to fully discharge their obligations under the Convention and to cooperate with the Secretary-General and the IMO with a view to establishing the judicial means to prosecute persons suspected of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia;

16. Requests States and regional organizations cooperating with the Transitional Federal Government to inform it and the Secretary-General, within nine months, of the implementation of the measures they have taken in execution of the authorizations arising from paragraph 10 above;

17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it, within 11 months of the adoption of this resolution, on the implementation thereof and on the situation concerning piracy and armed robbery in the territorial waters and in the high seas off the coast of Somalia;

18. Requests the Secretary-General of the IMO to report to it, based on matters brought to its attention upon 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;

19. Intends to monitor the situation and, if necessary, consider renewing for additional periods the authorizations arising from paragraph 10 above if the Transitional Federal Government so requests;

20. 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).