UAE has shown that the scourge can be tackled by boosting naval capacity of Somalia and others.
Despite a decline in pirate attacks launched
from Somalia over the last two years, they remain a threat to regional
security and global commerce. This important warning was issued by
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, ahead of a
conference on Counter Piracy, being hosted in Dubai. It must be heeded
as complacency by the international community will result in a
resurgence of maritime crime in the region. The UAE has a holistic
approach to fighting piracy that can provide a useful framework for
further international action against this scourge.
It has targeted
helping those countries that are not able to defend their maritime
interests effectively, assisting them to build their capacity to enforce
the law in their own waters. The UAE has not only built facilities and
provided material resources, but also assisted with needs assessments
and the development of national maritime strategies.
By boosting the maritime
capacity of Somalia and its neighbours, the UAE has sustainably improved
their ability to fight piracy, reducing the burden to do so on the
international community, while securing global commerce. This is
particularly important to the UAE, which is an international trading hub
and a major oil exporter. The UAE has led by example. It has
strengthened the capacity of its naval forces, security at its ports and
prosecuted piracy-related offences to the full extent of the law.
However, it must be
remembered that piracy will always remain an option for those who do not
have work or any hope of improving their lives. Security operations
alone will never be enough and the UAE is also investing in the social
and economic development of Somalia and building local security and
legal systems. Unless Somalia becomes a functioning state that is able
to provide its people with security, their basic needs and opportunities
for the future, there will always be the danger of lawlessness.
Ultimately, the battle against piracy on the seas can only be won by
making Somalia a stable, prosperous land.