– A “long-term and holistic approach” is needed to address the root causes and thus effectively eliminate the threat posed by piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, it said on Tuesday a United Nations official.
Cases of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea have continued to decline, UN Assistant Secretary-General Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee told a Security Council meeting, introducing a UN Secretary-General’s report on the piracy situation in the region. .
The report found positive developments as the number of piracy and armed robbery cases in the Gulf of Guinea decreased from 123 in 2020 to 45 in 2021. The trend has continued in 2022, with a total of 16 maritime crime incidents reported. between January and June.
However, Pobee noted that it is still too early to draw any definitive conclusions regarding this drop.
Pobee attributed the steady decline, which began around April 2021, to the concerted efforts of national authorities supported by regional and international partners, noting that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has transformed over the past decade.
Pirate groups are adapting to changing dynamics both at sea and in coastal areas. The recent decline in piracy cases can be attributed in part to criminal networks shifting to other forms of maritime and riverine crime, such as bunkering and robbery, which they are likely to view as less risky and more profitable, he said.
Pobee called for increased efforts to establish a stable and secure maritime environment in the Gulf of Guinea.
“At the same time, underlying causes such as youth unemployment and inadequate access to public services, which make coastal communities vulnerable to being drawn into illegal and criminal activities, must also be addressed,” he said.
Pobee emphasized that in order to effectively eradicate the threat posed by piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, national stakeholders, regional structures, and the international community must work closely together to address the underlying social, economic, and environmental challenges that underpin the recruitment of people in maritime crime networks.
“This requires a long-term and holistic approach, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda to address poverty and the lack of alternative livelihoods, youth unemployment and underemployment,” he said. ■