NEW YORK, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Somali pirates are still holding 37 sailors, raising serious international concern, UN official Jeffrey Feltman stated.
"Somali pirates are still holding 37 seafarers, which is a matter of serious international concern," Feltman said Wednesday, when reporting a decline in piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.
"Piracy off the coast of Somalia is one of the manifestations of a political problem, requiring a political solution. State collapse in Somalia and other political challenges lie at the root of the problem. Without the continued deterrence support provided by the international naval presence, the self-protection measures adopted by the shipping industry, and until such time as capacity-building efforts ashore have sufficient effect, large scale piracy may potentially return," he stated.
On September 24, a high-level meeting was convened in the United Nations on Somalia on the margins of the General Assembly debate "Implementing Vision 2016: Inclusive Politics in Action". It highlighted national reconciliation, the creation of electoral institutions, reinforcement of the rule of law as well as the delivery of public services. The meeting was co-chaired by Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
"The international community must continue to support the Somali Government in its efforts to deliver on its commitments outlined in Vision 2016 and the Somali Compact," Feltman added.
He additionally noted that "counter-piracy efforts should be an integral part of Somalia's state-building process".