Statement by Ambassador Berger on Piracy off the Somali Coast in the Security Council
· I thank the Legal Counsel for her detailed briefing on the modalities for the establishment of specialised Somali anti-piracy courts. We commend the report for its detailed analysis of legal, administrative and financial implications.
· Despite some progress in recent months Germany is very concerned about the persistent threat of piracy and armed robbery off Somalia and in the region. The Security Council clearly needs to continue to address this threat to peace and security. The Council has taken up this task by unanimously adopting resolution 1976. The Security Council and the international community showed unity and resolve. But we do have to step up our efforts.
· The report of the Secretary-General identifies a number of challenges with regard to the establishment of specialised Somali anti-piracy courts and the establishment of an extraterritorial Somali court in a third country in the region.
· We hold the view that it must ultimately be in Somaliathat pirates are prosecuted and imprisoned. The urgent establishment of adequate structures in Somaliais crucial to reach that goal.
· We therefore share the objective to assist the Somali justice system to prosecute piracy suspects in accordance with international standards in particular, fair trial and due process guarantees, and to imprison those convicted in accordance with international human rights standards, thereby enabling states to transfer piracy suspects to Somalia.
· To this effect we would like to encourage all countries to continue their efforts and commitments in this respect.
· We appreciate the efforts of neighbouring States of Somalia and States in the region to contribute to the efforts to prosecute piracy suspects. We believe these efforts need to be further enhanced until the Somali justice system will be able to prosecute the piracy suspects.
· The activities of the Contact Group on Piracy off Somalia and its Trust Fund are important and very useful components of these combined efforts. We invite others, including the shipping industry, to further participate and commit funds in order to build support for courts and prisons in Somalia that are up to acceptable international standards.
· Let me also mention the recent signing of a MOU between the Seychelles, the TFG, "Somaliland", and "Puntland", concerning the transfer of convicted persons from the Seychelles to prisons in Somalia. This is the first arrangement entered into by Somali authorities in this regard.
· The Secretary-General’s report describes challenges with regard to the establishment of an extraterritorial Somali specialised anti-piracy court in a third state in the region. We take note of these challenges. The numerous uncertainties show that this option needs further and thorough exploration. However, we should continue to follow up on the Secretary-General's report in this respect and to try to find solutions to the challenges he presented.
· With a view to the financial implications of the eventual establishment of such an extraterritorial court we take note of the report's finding that it would not be possible at this stage to comment authoritatively on costs figures. We would nevertheless like to underline that any such solution would have to be found within reasonable financial limits.
· Let me conclude by underlining that we are looking forward to constructively continuing cooperation with partners in the Security Council and in the Contact Group.
Thank you, Mr. President.