Ambassadorial-Level Meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission
Strengthening peacebuilding and the implementation of the Regional Maritime Security Framework in the Gulf of Guinea
New York, 19 May 2023
Statement of Italy delivered by the Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Gianluca Greco
I thank Ambassador Šimonović for convening this meeting, and the briefers for their interventions.
Italy fully shares the goal of the States of the Gulf of Guinea and the International Community to eliminate the threats of piracy and of other illicit activities at sea.
Piracy and other maritime crimes are an obstacle to shipping operations. They diminish the confidence of investors, thereby affecting both the Countries of the region and international economic relations.
Italy, as a partner of the region, has been among the promoters of an ad hoc meeting of the PBC on the Maritime Security Framework in the Gulf of Guinea, as a way to highlight the linkages existing between maritime security, peacebuilding and economic and social development in the region. I would therefore like to share our appreciation for today’s wide and diverse participation.
We do believe in the importance of joining forces to advance regional maritime security and contribute to the achievement of long-lasting stability and prosperity in the Gulf of Guinea.
Within the framework of the EU Coordinated Maritime Presence in the Gulf of Guinea, Italy ensures every year an eight month-long campaign of a Navy unit in the region, allowing us to develop extensive cooperation at bilateral and multilateral level with the Navies of the Costal States.
Italy also finances projects aimed at training National security teams in the “Visit, Board, Search and Seize” sector for the collection of evidence, and subsequent prosecution of pirates, in collaboration with UNODC and the Authorities of many countries in the region.
Ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Youndé Code of Conduct we are hopeful that multilateral action can further improve the security conditions in the Gulf region, unlocking a vast potential for the sustainable growth of the Blue Economy.
The level of commitment shown by the States of the Gulf of Guinea and their partners allowed the wider international community to register important progress in regional maritime security. Effective measures have also been taken by some Countries to apprehend criminals, prosecute them and confiscate their assets.
While the implementation of regional maritime security frameworks has yielded positive results, there is still work to be done to ensure that these successes are built upon and translated into stable improvements.
We will continue to focus on capacity-building efforts to enhance the capabilities of the region’s Navies and other maritime security forces. Naval co-operation, however, should also be coupled with a multidimensional whole-of-society approach, to address the root causes of poverty and insecurity.
Youth and women inclusion and the development of income generating activities among coastal communities can become a major driving force for development, subtracting vital resources from criminal organizations.
We need to be aware that progress achieved so far is not irreversible. We need to continue working together to address the remaining challenges and to ensure that the Gulf of Guinea’s stability benefits all sectors of local societies.
Ownership from coastal States is paramount and support from the international Community is essential. With this in mind, we stand ready to further strengthen multilateral efforts.