On this year’s observance of World Maritime Day, which is dedicated to orchestrating an effective response to piracy, our thoughts must be with the 339 seafarers from 16 ships who are currently in the hands of pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. May they be released unharmed and returned to their families soon.
Piracy may be an ancient scourge, but there should be no place for it in the 21st century.
Modern-day piracy causes terrible suffering to the individual victims and great damage to international seaborne trade and the global economy. The international community must do more to combat this lawlessness, not only off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden and in the Western Indian Ocean, but anywhere in the world.
The International Maritime Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and many other partners and stakeholders continue their important efforts to contain and eradicate this widening menace. I welcome the active engagement of the shipping industry and organizations representing seafarers in this work.
On World Maritime Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to preventing and suppressing unlawful acts at sea, and to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations