We Should Cooperate To Fight Piracy: Marty

26 April, 2011 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa attended a conference in Dubai on Monday focused on urging the international community to cooperate in eradicating piracy

Presently, 20 Indonesian sailors are still being held hostage by Somali pirates.

On the sidelines of the conference, Marty met with Somali Foreign Minister Abdullahi Omar Arsharq to discus approaches to freeing the Indonesian hostages.

“The Somali Foreign Minister has expressed the Somali government’s commitment to help Indonesian efforts to release our citizens,” the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

Twenty sailors aboard the MV Sinar Kudus cargo ship, owned by PT Samudra Indonesia, were taken hostage in March by Somali pirates who are now demanding a US$3 million ransom. Somali pirates have hijacked 41 ships from 16 countries since March 2010, taking 583 sailors hostage, including 20 Indonesians.

Marty told participants at the conference that piracy was a universal crime that needed to be comprehensively handled at regional, national and global government levels.

He proposed three approaches to combatting piracy.

“First, we need to identify its root causes. In the case of piracy in Somalia, it can not be separated from the conditions inside Somalia itself,” he said.

Secondly, he said, handling piracy must be based on international law — in this case, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), stressing that enforcement of the law must be strengthened and that cooperation was needed to prosecute pirates under international law.

Thirdly, Marty said the littoral states within the region must hold joint coordinated patrols to ensure maritime navigation security in the area, citing the success of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia in securing the Malacca Straits, as an example.

 

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