In his speech at the session of the UN General Assembly president Viktor Yushchenko addressed the President of the session on the issue of the utmost importance for Ukraine, according to Yushchenko. It is the global fight against the maritime piracy.

“We value all efforts of the United Nations and the International Maritime Organization in this regard. Still, the measures so far have not been sufficient. Almost 70 000 Ukrainian citizens are employed on ships under foreign flags. Any developments on the high seas affect us directly,” he said.

Yushchenko stated the fact that in the last seven years only, pirates attacked 18 vessels with Ukrainian sailors on board. In the last nine months only, 35 Ukrainian sailors were taken hostages.

“It is not a local problem anymore. It has become very dangerous and threatening all of us. We shall not turn a blind eye on it,” he said.

Ukraine was among the co-sponsors of the IMO Resolution "Piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia", which laid the ground for further respective UN Security Council resolutions.

We strongly support elaboration of uniform and clear rules to fight pirates and to protect sailors.

Yushchenko called for more active stance of those UN members which are main countries of origin of employed marine workers and of those states and organizations capable of making an impact on the safety of international maritime navigation.

“On behalf of Ukraine I propose to examine carefully an idea of establishing in one of the African countries a regional center under the UN aegis which would bring agencies programs and funds under its umbrella as well as political offices to counter piracy.

I want to be clear - Ukraine will be actively engaged in all international endeavors, and we intend to join the EU Atalanta anti-piracy naval operation,” he stressed.

President of Ukraine urged the General Assembly to debate these very critical issues in a separate meeting.


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