"We are going to introduce today the draft resolution on Somalia. Since the first day, France is co-sponsor, and we worked very closely with the American delegation.
You know that there was an initiative by the French President which was merging with the American initiative to tackle piracy ; all over the world if possible, starting with Somalia because it is the most urgent place to do so. In doing so, we agreed with the Americans and we also have Panama as a co-sponsor probably and some other, we expect.
We want to fully respect sovereignty of Somalia. We want to fully respect the Law of the Sea convention and we want to be efficient.
But it is just the first day : we have now to see how other delegations will be reacting."
What does this text means in terms of strengthening the efforts of the international community ?
"It is very important : it gives a mandate to all States- that is what we offer-to give a mandate to all States that are able to do so to pursue pirates from the international waters into territorial sea with the consent of the government. So the idea is to negotiate long time in advance the agreement with the local governments so that we can answer their need and to patrol to deter piracy which is a first step.
And the government of Somalia told us that it agreed with the resolution."
So every nation might be in a position to do so ?
"There will be a mandate from the UN. Then, everybody can manage. I mean : you can have bi-lateral agreements, you can have tri-lateral agreements, you can have regional agreement. It depends. "
The South African ambassador just asked why was it necessary to do 2 separate resolutions relating to Somalia. Why not just put it all in one resolution ?
"The first one regards Somalia. We will be allowing -what France asked since the beginning-to protect humanitarian convoys, maritime route. For World Food Program, for humanitarian purposes, we protect ships. It is not against piracy. We protect ships, full stop.
The second resolution is against piracy. So, it is something different. As French, we insist that if we agree to start with Somalia, we want then to operate in other waters, if needed, against piracy.
The possibility to expand from Somalia to other places is included in the resolution.
How much support do you have in the Council ?
I think we have much support. We will see today but from the contacts we have with other delegations, our feeling is that the fight is really popular. The question is to be very clear on the fact that we do not force anyone, that we respect sovereignty and the Convention of the Law of Sea. It will probably take time because some people will raise questions on the way to do it.
Ce sera un mandat sous Chapitre VII ?
Cette possibilité d’étendre à d’autres zones ne semble figurer que dans le tout dernier paragraphe où on charge le Secrétaire général de faire un rapport ?
Non, cela c’est dans le dispositif, mais dans le préambule on explique clairement qu’il s’agit de lutter contre la piraterie dans toutes les régions et sur toutes les routes commerciales maritimes internationales./.