Address root causes of piracy

THERE is a connection between piracy and what happens when the day-to-day lives of ordinary people seem without hope and are filled with doubt, despair and instability.

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who said this in a statement at the 4th High-Level, Public-Private Counter-Piracy Conference at the JW Mariott Marquis in Dubai, United Arab Emirates yesterday, added that it reveals cracks in the whole idea of globalism, and piracy could be one of them.

“It could well result in an economic terrorism that is just as dangerous as any other form of extremism,” said His Royal Highness, adding that its causes should be effectively addressed.

According to His Royal Highness, ideas that come out of this annual conference are very important and have to be shared for the benefit of all people in every region.

Earlier, His Royal Highness said, “When this conference met for the first time four years ago, reports about piracy filled the news media.

“There were almost daily stories about hostages, arrests, killings and ransom demands, refugees, deepening starvation and far-reaching instability. In other words, they described an alarming and divisive situation. It dominated Security Council business and there was very little agreement about what could be done.

“Four years later, however, media coverage is far less frequent. And when it comes, it often seems far more hopeful. So, to that extent, it seems clear that progress has been made.

“There is also now growing agreement about the causes of piracy and what has to be done. It is briefly summed up in the three specific subjects for discussion at this conference.

“But the fact that we have identified them and are looking at practical solutions is only a start. In the long term, we look for even deeper and wider progress.

“This is why the greatest strengths of this annual conference are the lessons it teaches and the ideas it provokes. And in this sense, I think the conference has given us a most urgent lesson.

“It has made us see Somalia’s suffering as a struggle that involves the whole idea of international cooperation.”

This year’s conference was entitled “Securing State Recovery: Sustaining Momentum At Sea, Confronting Instability On Land”.

His Royal Highness also held bilateral meetings with Dr Abdirahman Duale Beyle, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia, and Ahmad Ould Teguedi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Mauritania. - Borneo Bulletin (30 October 2014)