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Diplomacy

Chinese envoy calls for support in combating maritime crime

The envoy said that cargo ships were still at risk off the coast of Africa.


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Updated: February 7, 2019

China’s UN envoy on Tuesday urged support for “countries concerned” in combating transnational organized crime at sea, pointing out that maritime security remains grim on Africa’s west coast.

Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council meeting that China supports these countries in “enhancing coordination, formulating joint strategies and mechanisms, cracking down on transnational organized crime at sea, and thereby achieving development and prosperity.”

He said that in recent years, while pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden have decreased significantly, the situation of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea on Africa’s west coast remains grim, “which has severely affected the economic and social development of coastal states in Africa.”

He warned that illegal funds have flown into terrorist organizations, extremist forces, and criminal groups, exacerbating national and regional instability, and threatening international peace and security.

In coping with the situation, the Chinese envoy said the international community should assist the coastal states in capacity building while respecting their sovereignty, adding “this entails efforts to support coastal states in improving their domestic legislation, and establishing and strengthening maritime security forces.”

Particularly, Ma pointed out that the international community should engage in the construction, operation, and maintenance of ports and other facilities of the coastal states and support them, “so they are more competent in ship docking, replenishment and maintenance, and be better equipped with more sufficient logistical guarantee.”

Moreover, he highlighted the role of regional and subregional organizations and established regional long-term mechanisms in addressing the issue, and stressed the need to mobilize resources and strengthen international cooperation.

Relevant UN agencies, the International Maritime Organization, the Interpol, among others, should provide more assistance to coastal states, he detailed.

“The international community can draw from the success stories and, on the basis of thorough consultations with the coastal states, … exchange evidence and information and facilitate the investigation, prosecution, and trial of relevant cases with all the necessary conveniences,” he added.

In addition, Ma called for increased development assistance to the coastal states, stressing development is the overarching key to solving all problems.

He proposed more assistance to help coastal states root out the causes of poverty and social injustice, speed up economic and social development, and increase anti-terrorism cooperation.



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