Tuesday, December 2, 2008
U.N. Security Council Resolution Invokes Chapter VII and Urges Nations to Deploy Ships and Aircraft to Combat Somali Pirates
The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a new resolution [Resolution 1846 (2008)] that calls on all countries and regional organizations that can do so to deploy naval ships and military aircraft off the Somali coast to fight rampant piracy that is impeding UN efforts to feed millions of hungry civilians in Somalia. Invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter (which authorizes the use of force), the Security Council called for the “seizure and disposition of boats, vessels, arms and other related equipment” used or suspected of being used for piracy, which has recently reached a peak off the coast of Somalia with the hijacking of a Ukrainian arms ship and a Saudi oil tanker. The Council said it continued “to be gravely concerned by the threat that piracy and armed robbery at sea against vessels pose to the prompt, safe and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia, to international navigation and the safety of commercial maritime routes, and to other vulnerable ships, including fishing activities in conformity with international law.”
The new resolution is available by clicking here. You can also click here to see an earlier Security Council Resolution 1844 (2008) on the situation in Somalia. Resolution 1844, which also invoked Chapter VII of the UN Charter, imposed travel restrictions and authorized the freezing of certain financial assets and other resources controlled directly or indirectly by persons and entities designated as threatening the peace and stability of Somalia, violating the arms embargo (which is reaffirmed in the resolution), or obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia.