Remarks by Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, US Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs, at the signing of the "New York Declaration", at the United Nations

Rosemary A. DiCarlo
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 9, 2009


Thank you for joining us today to participate in adding your signatures to the “New York Declaration.”

This important declaration formally commits our governments to promulgating internationally recognized best management practices for the self protection of the vessels on our countries’ respective ship registries.

Examples of best management practices include increasing lookouts, ensuring ladders are raised on ships, and readying fire pumps to repel boarders.

Today five countries joined the four countries that already signed the declaration: Cyprus, Japan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom have joined the United Stats in signing this important Declaration today, which was first developed by Panama, the Bahamas, Liberia and the Marshall Islands.

So far in 2009 alone, there have been 138 pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa, of which 33 were successful. The international best management practices that we are advocating contributed to preventing many of the other criminal assaults from succeeding.

The United States would like to recognize the world shipping organizations, including the American maritime industry, which originally helped to craft these best management practices when piracy off the coast of Somalia first became a significant menace to international shipping traffic, mariners, and the delivery of humanitarian relief to East Africa.

I also want to acknowledge our respective naval forces in helping to deter piracy attacks. We appreciate deeply the efforts of the multinational Combined Task Force 151, NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield forces, the European Union’s Operation Atalanta, and those operating in consultation with these efforts.

We realize that the fight against piracy in the Horn of Africa region cannot be solved entirely at sea. Other measures that must be taken include having affected states adopt legal measures to prosecute suspected pirates. And as Secretary of State Clinton remarked earlier this year [April 15]: “The solution to Somali piracy includes improved Somali capacity to police their own territory.”

Tomorrow’s plenary of the Contact Group should take additional strong measures that reflect the determination of this broad array of participating states to put an end to the modern scourge of piracy.

Thank you.


PRN: 2009/172