21 May 2010
The Ministers of the Republic of Djibouti, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of Mozambique, the Republic of Seychelles, the Republic of South Africa and High Representatives of the EU and the following international organisations: AU, COMESA, IOC, INTERPOL and UNODC met in the occasion of the official visit of EU High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission Baroness Catherine Ashton to Seychelles, at Victoria, Seychelles on 21st May 2010.
Piracy has become again a menace on the high seas. The Indian Ocean, notably those countries in the surrounding region, is particularly affected. International trade is disrupted, security is threatened, the region’s economy is suffering, social development is endangered. Piracy is today an international problem which requires a comprehensive multilateral solution.
The participants agreed that to be effective in addressing the challenge of piracy, the countries in the region will have to act together. They agreed to forge strong regional cooperation because regional solidarity is essential to fight piracy.
To be effective, the participants agreed the need for a joined-up short, medium and longterm strategy. In the short-term, continuing deterring and capturing pirates remains a priority. The participants recognised the crucial role the EUNAVFOR Atalanta Operation in this regard.
In the medium-term, it was stressed the need to strengthen the capacities of the countries in the wider region on the prosecution and imprisonment of pirates. But it was agreed that a comprehensive strategy can only be achieved by addressing the underlying security challenges and development causes behind piracy.
At their meeting, the partners agreed to further develop and enhance their domestic action plans to fight piracy with a view to formulating a more comprehensive, coherent and sustainable regional strategy to be agreed at a further ministerial level conference to be convened in the very near future.
The EU has reiterated its strong commitment to stand by the countries in the region together with the other international partners in order to help them to effectively address the problem of piracy.
The participants agreed to meet again soon and continue their concerted efforts for a coordinated international action for sustainable solutions on piracy.
Council of the European Union