Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the signature of the EU-Mauritius Transfer Agreement of Suspected Pirates
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made the following statement today:
“I am delighted that the excellent cooperation we have with the Government of Mauritius in the fight against piracy has resulted in the signature of the European Union-Mauritius Transfer Agreement of Suspected Pirates this week.
I congratulate the Government of Mauritius for joining hands in the fight against piracy and for the promotion of maritime security, in line with the regional strategy and action plan endorsed by the 2nd regional ministerial conference held in Mauritius last year.
Piracy is an international scourge affecting all of our shipping and also aid efforts in the region off the Horn of Africa. We can only find solution to this problem by working together. The root causes of piracy lies on land, in the continued instability of Somalia. The international community is working together to assist Somalia in reestablishing peace, security and rule of law and to create the conditions for economic growth.
At sea the EU is leading international efforts against piracy off the coast of Somalia with EUNAVFOR Atalanta operation. But, as I stressed at the regional ministerial conference last year, prevention is not enough. Impunity only encourages criminal activity. The EU is closely cooperating with a number of countries in the region on prosecution and detention of captured pirates. This agreement is a concrete result of such cooperation.”
The EU-Mauritius Transfer Agreement of Suspected Pirates defines the conditions and modalities for: (i) the transfer of persons suspected of attempting to commit, committing or having committed acts of piracy within the area of operation of EUNAVFOR Atalanta on the high seas off the territorial seas of Mauritius, Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, Seychelles and Reunion Island and detained by EUNAVFOR; (ii) the transfer of associated property seized by EUNAVFOR from EUNAVFOR to Mauritius; and (iii) the treatment of transferred persons. It was signed by the Head of EU Delegation to the Republic of Mauritius Alessandro Mariani and Mrs Fong Weng-Poorun, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office, on 14 July. This signature was accompanied by the signature of two programs for additional financial support from the European Union for implementing the Transfer Agreement. The European Union and UNODC signed a joint programme to support the trial and related treatment of piracy suspects in Mauritius. Ambassador Mariani and the Honourable Minister of Finance, Pravind Jugnauth, also signed an Addendum to the National Indicative Programme for Mauritius to cover further needs and to compensate, in support to the fight against poverty, the additional costs to the economy and to the Government incurred to respond to piracy.
Council of the European Union