The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has announced that the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a Ghana-Norway resolution on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea on Tuesday, 31st May, 2022.
As co-leader and drafter with Norway of the resolution, Ghana welcomes the adoption of the resolution, the Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday June 1.
It added that the resolution is key to Ghana’s national security, the livelihoods of Ghana’s coastal and fishing communities, foreign investments in the oil and gas industry, shipping costs as well as trade, and the overall economy of Ghana.
The decision of the entire Council to support the resolution comes after a long and difficult negotiation process.
“The issue of maritime security has been at the top of Ghana’s priorities in the UN for a very long time. It is recalled that the Minister for National Security represented the Foreign Minister in New York in December 2021 during the launch of the Stable Seas Report by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime.
“As that report reveals, the Gulf of Guinea has overtaken the Gulf of Eden as the epicentre of piracy with 130 maritime kidnappings out of the 135 global incidents in 2020, in addition to all the 40 kidnapped crew recorded globally in the first quarter of 2021 with an estimated cost of over a billion dollars, including the cost of national efforts to police the seas.
“The disruption to commerce in the Gulf of Guinea should be a cause for concern as the criminal activities carried out on the high seas have been detrimental to the development of coastal economies in the region and risk compounding the multifaceted challenges facing the region. It is for these reasons that Ghana and Norway, jointly initiated the resolution to re-focus global attention and garner the necessary support to help address the situation of the Gulf of Guinea.
“The resolution builds on existing frameworks including resolution 2039 (2012), and it places focus on the need to criminalize and prosecute acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, as well as on measures to further enhance national, regional, and international efforts in dealing with the situation.
“It also requests the Secretary-General to report on current efforts, including an assessment of the possible links between piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea and terrorism in West Africa, and proffer recommendations for enhanced efforts and support for a national and regional response,” the Ministry said.
In a statement after the adoption of the Security Council Resolution, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, extended gratitude to Norway, Ghana’s partner in drafting the resolution, and expressed deep appreciation to the co-sponsors and all members of the Council for supporting the resolution.
She welcomed the strong signal of unity in the Council, after a period of regrettable division on matters of international peace and security. She declared that the resolution was “a down payment of the United Nations on Ghana’s priorities at the Security Council to reduce and eliminate the incidence of piracy and criminal marine activities that threaten the security and economic well-being of the people and countries in the Gulf of Guinea maritime zone”.
The implementation of the resolution would strengthen regional initiatives such as the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and its associated Maritime Coordination Centres in addressing the menace in a sustainable manner.