Statement of the Representative of Ukraine
at the plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly
on agenda item 76 “Oceans and the Law of the Sea”
(9 December 2013)
I wish to thank the Secretary-General for the wide-ranging elements of his reports on Oceans and the Law of the Sea and have the honour to be a sponsor of both draft resolutions. Our appreciation also goes to DOALOS for its able stewardship during the informal consultations on the draft resolutions before us today, and also to the coordinators of the both documents.
Aligning itself with the statement by the European Union, Ukraine would like to intervene in its national capacity.
Ukraine has been consistently commitment to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – a comprehensive legal framework covering all aspects of the activities in the oceans and seas. My Delegation has actively participated in the consultations and is very grateful to all delegations for their cooperation and support.
Ukraine is very pleased that its initiatives aimed at reinforcing cooperation between Member States and relevant international bodies in developing national legislation on piracy, have been supported in the course of the consultations and reflected in the draft omnibus resolution.
We strongly believe that the fight against piracy cannot bring sustainable results without fighting impunity and bringing to justice perpetrators of acts of piracy, as well as their organizers and facilitators on land. Current statistic in this respect is very encouraging: more than 1200 individuals suspected on piracy are prosecuted or being awaiting prosecution in more than 20 States.
We welcome the on-going cooperation within the United Nations in this field and look forward to working closely with interested Member States and competent international institutions in further developing national legislation against piracy and strengthening mechanisms of bringing pirates, hijackers and their sponsors to justice.
Needless to say that today’s significant 37 per cent decrease in the number of attacks by pirates and armed robbers worldwide, especially in the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and in South America, emanates from national and multilateral initiatives as well as regional mechanisms of cooperation in combating and preventing piracy and armed robbery at sea.
However the current declining trend in the number of attacks is reversible and predominantly dependent on the international naval patrol. In this regard Ukraine is proud that its Frigate “Hetman Sahaidachniy”, a flagship of the Ukrainian Naval Forces equipped with a deck helicopter is now policing the waters off the Horn of Africa as a part of NATO Operation Ocean Shield.
New challenges to maritime safety and security are emerging and a lot of work is still ahead of us. We express our particular concern about the growing trend of attacks against ships in West Africa, in the Malacca Strait and the Mediterranean Sea reported by the Secretary-General recently. According to his report, the majority of the attacks worldwide occurred or was attempted in port areas. Ukraine urges coastal States, flag States and industry to make everything possible to ensure safety and security of maritime shipping, especially in the listed regions.
We welcome the discussions on the initiatives regarding the use of privately contracted armed security personnel on board commercial vessels, including initiatives by IMO, the United Nations Interregional Criminal Research Institute, the International Standards Organization and Working Group 2 of the CGPCS.
Lastly, Mr. President,
Along with eliminating roots of piracy on land and suppressing its manifestations at sea, measures taken by the international community in this field should also include addressing the impacts of piracy, especially as regards its victims.
As one of the major States of seafarers’ origin Ukraine is actively engaged in the cooperation between Member States, IMO, ILO and other actors aimed at developing measures to protect the welfare of seafarers who are victims of pirates, including their post-incident treatment and reintegration into society. We highly appreciate the work carried out in this field and stand ready to do our utmost to protect interests of our seafarers.
I thank you, Mr. President.