The Seychelles Foreign Minister has called on European partners to “look at the oceans as a development space that should be treated with the same seriousness as land-based development” in a special piracy presentation he made to the EU Sub-committee on External Affairs of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, made the presentation at the invitation of Lord Robin Teverson, Chairman of the EU External Affairs Committtee of the House of Lords, on the subject of piracy off the coast of Somalia and the efforts to counter it, in particular the EU’s Operation Atalanta.
“There have been significant improvements in the coordination of the effort against piracy – more robust action by EU Atalanta vessels, including interventions on land – [and] this has drastically reduced the number of successful attacks, but impunity in the long run is still a problem,” said the Minister.
In addition to sharing the Seychelles experience in counter piracy efforts, the Minister highlighted three areas where greater international focus was required:
- Improving imprisonment options in Somalia
- Strengthening role of AMISOM, particularly through support from EU
- Increasing options for prosecutions
- Use best practices established in Seychelles
- Insurance companies to offer better options to shipping companies (e.g., incentivizing best practices through substantial discounts)
The Minister also took this opportunity to applaud the MOU signed by Seychelles President James Michel and Britain Prime Minister David Cameron in February this year to establish a Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Centre (RAPPIC), aimed at targeting the financiers of piracy, as an example of type of international cooperation needed to effectively fight the scourge of piracy.