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UN General Assembly - Oceans and the law of the sea Report of the Secretary-General 2017 @UN @UN_Spo


Oceans and the law of the sea Report of the Secretary-General 2017

IV. Shipping and maritime security (Extracts)

34. Effective flag implementation remains critical in order to maximize the economic benefits from maritime trade and transport, for ensuring safety and security of navigation at sea, decent working conditions, the protection and preservation of the marine environment and the conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources.

35. Activities at sea that can pose a threat to maritime security include transnational organized criminal activities committed at sea, including the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the smuggling of migrants, the trafficking in persons and illicit trafficking in firearms as well as other criminal activities, such as piracy, armed robbery at sea, smuggling and terrorist acts against shipping, offshore installations and other maritime interests. Maritime cyberattacks can also pose a threat to maritime safety and security. In June 2017, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee adopted a resolution on maritime cyber risk management in safety management systems.

36. During the period under review, the number of reported acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships decreased globally. In some regions, however, an increased number of attacks in 2016 remained a matter of significant concern. For example, there was some evidence of a resurgence of Somali-based piracy, with seven incidents, including three hijackings, during the first six months of 2017, while notable reductions occurred off the coasts of India and Nigeria. The level of violence used in attacks remained unacceptably high worldwide.

Moreover, citing concerns over the under reporting of incidents, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee issued a circular on the reporting of incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea. It also considered draft guidelines for floating armouries, and referred the issue to the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, which, in turn, urged IMO to take early action.

37. Measures to combat piracy were taken in different regions. For example, concerned with recent incidents in the region involving abduction or attempted abduction of crew, on 19 June 2017, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines launched a trilateral maritime patrol agreement to address the increasing incidence of piracy, armed robbery against ships, the kidnapping of crew at sea and other transnational crimes along the shared borders of the three countries.

38. An increasingly regional and integrated approach to combating crimes at sea was also adopted by 12 States in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The revised Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (the Jeddah Amendment to the Djibouti Code of Conduct), adopted in January 2017, now also covers, besides piracy and armed robbery against ships, “transnational organized crime in the maritime domain” and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. In relation to the covered crimes, the Amendment introduces a broad framework for voluntary cooperation, including through the use of embarked officers, coordination and information-sharing, reporting, assistance and training and education.

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