posted on Thu 24 Mar 2011 10:32 AM
Insights on Somalia Piracy

On Tuesday (22 March) Council members had their first meeting at expert level on the Russian draft resolution on Somali piracy. Although the P5 members had been discussing the text for a few weeks this was the first time elected members had a chance to comment on the text. Council members were not able to get through the full text on Tuesday and another meeting has been scheduled for Monday, 28 March. Russia is likely to then circulate a revised text by mid-week.

While there were some amendments from the elected members, there were no fundamental differences over the substance of the resolution. Russia appears confident that with the P5 differences now apparently resolved, negotiations over the draft should now move quite quickly. However, it looks less likely now that the resolution will be adopted by the end of March.

The draft resolution appears to focus on legal aspects such as the need to criminalise piracy under domestic law, transfer agreements for suspected pirates, the need for assistance to increase prison capacity in Somalia. There is also a request to Somalia to complete a set of counter-piracy laws and to improve the collection and transmission of evidence of acts of piracy.

It is likely that one of the outcomes of the resolution will be a request to the Secretary-General to produce a report within two months on the modalities for implementing Jack Lang’s (the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia), recommendation on establishing a court system to prosecute suspected pirates.