Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council meeting “Transnational Organized Crime at Sea as a Threat to International Peace and Security”

Mr Minister, we welcome you in the Chair of the Security Council and express our gratitude for your initiative to hold this meeting.

We would like to thank Mr Fedotov and Mme Adenike Ukonga for their briefings.

We share concerns about escalation of activities of international criminal groups, including their activities at sea. Regrettably, illegal migration does not stop spiraling up, illicit arms and drug trafficking keep growing. International human trafficking goes on.

Today in a number of regions there is threat of maritime piracy and robbery. Russia has concerns about recent incidents of robbery at sea during which commercial vessels were attacked and Russian citizens – members of the crew – were taken hostage.

Mr President,

It is not an easy task to establish systemic work to prevent and eliminate various criminal activities. We welcome the efforts of a whole range of UN mechanisms on this track that not once proved to be effective. Among them we consider regular sessions of Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Vienna-based Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. UN General Assembly and its Third Committee focus on various aspects of preventing illicit activities.

Regional formats also produce effective cooperation, e.g. Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), the Gulf of Guinea Commission, Inter-sessional Meetings of ASEAN Regional Forum and Conference of East Asia Summit on maritime security.

UN Office on Drug and Crime carries out activities to provide specialized technical assistance to the interested countries upon their request. We welcome and support such efforts.

Russia traditionally stands for strengthening the central coordinating role of the UN in combating crime. We believe there is a need to establish under UN auspices a universal inter-state coordinating mechanism with a broad functional and geographic mandate that would be independent from Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and other regional formats to counter maritime piracy and sea crime. To create such a specialized mechanism would help to facilitate search for solutions to such problems as countering new threats and challenges at sea.

Security Council does not stay away when it comes to such threats. Separate aspects of piracy and sea robbery in various regions of the world, human trafficking in course of armed conflicts, not once have been part of Security Council agenda. Close attention was paid to remaining strong interconnection between armed conflicts, terrorism and various forms of transnational organized crime, including illicit trafficking of arms, drugs and objects of cultural heritage and illegal migration.

Security Council has developed significant legal basis on these tracks by adopting a number of specialized resolutions and President’s statements.

However there are areas where the potential and prerogatives of UNSC are not that evident. It would have raised many questions if SC had started to address the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Or, say, the problem of degradation of the marine environment. Statutory objective of the Council is to react to crises that might disturb international peace and security in the most efficient, adequate and prompt way.

This being said, we reiterate our commitment to continuously contribute to the extension of international cooperation in the area of criminal law and legal affairs for the purpose of elimination of existing threats posed by transnational organized crime.

I thank you.