posted on Wed 26 Oct 2011 2:14 PM
Somalia Briefing and Consultations Postponed

It appears that the briefing on Somalia by B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, initially scheduled for tomorrow (27 October) has been postponed until Monday, 31 October. Apparently the two reports to be considered – a report on Somali piracy (S/2011/661, requested by resolution 1950) and a report on protection of Somali natural resources and waters (S/2011/662, requested by resolution 1976) – were only circulated to Council members on the evening of 25 October. It seems that Council members have asked for more time to study the reports before the briefing takes place.

The Secretary-General’s piracy report emphasises the need for an integrated strategy and encourages further thinking about how to address the root causes of piracy, including through land-based initiatives. It also notes that international anti-piracy efforts have resulted in a decline in the number of successful attacks, but warns that Somali piracy is still a serious threat with attacks expected to surge in the coming weeks as the monsoon season ends. The report also reviews efforts by Somali authorities as well as international and regional cooperation to address the piracy issue, including in the area of prosecution.

The report on protection of natural resources reviews information currently available on illegal fishing and dumping off the coast of Somalia, attempts to assess the costs of this and also examines the legal framework for the protection and exploitation of Somalia’s natural resources. It notes that there is a need for a more in-depth investigation of illegal practices and also suggests that mandates of international counter-piracy operations could include monitoring and deterrence of illegal fishing and dumping. The report also calls on Somali authorities to declare an exclusive economic zone off the Somali coast and take other steps to enhance maritime security, such as acceding to relevant international conventions.