The Philippines called on UN member states to adhere to and implement the international convention against transnational organized crime and its protocols relative to crimes committed at sea.
AP/File
Philippines to focus on battling maritime piracy
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Due to its strategic location and the large number of Filipino seafarers plying international commercial routes on merchant vessels, the Philippines has emphasized the importance of combatting maritime piracy and other organized sea crime.

The Philippines called on UN member states to adhere to and implement the international convention against transnational organized crime and its protocols relative to crimes committed at sea.

During a recent debate at the UN Security Council, Philippine Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Christianne Azucena said the full implementation of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime is crucial in attaining maritime security worldwide.

Azucena stressed that addressing threats to maritime security is vital for the Philippines.

“My country’s strategic location in Southeast Asia and its more than 36,000 kilometers of coastline make us vulnerable to activities of international crime syndicates including piracy, drug trafficking and human trafficking. Moreover, one in every four seafarers on board an international vessel at any given time is a Filipino,” Azucena said. 

“It is therefore vital for my country that threats to maritime security are addressed,” she said.

Azucena cited several cooperative efforts that the Philippines has at the international level to promote maritime security.

Under the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement, the Philippines joined Indonesia and Malaysia in joint air and sea patrols to reinforce security and accelerate capture of criminal elements.

Azucena said the Philippines is active in promoting maritime security at the international level.

The Philippines is a member of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery, a multilateral mechanism among 20 states to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.

The Philippines is also active at the ASEAN Maritime Forum and other ASEAN mechanisms for maritime cooperation.

The UNSC debate was organized and presided over by the Equatorial Guinea Minister of Foreign Affairs Simeon Oyono Esono Angue, in his capacity as UNSC president.

The Philippines was invited to attend and speak at the debate, along with Japan, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago and Italy.

MARITIME PIRACY UN CONVENTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME
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