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Cablegate: Unodc Project Provides Vehicle for Promoting Law

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUNV #0650/01 3461332
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111332Z DEC 08
FM USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8805
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1416
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA 0048
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 0017
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 0001
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0008
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1041
RUZEFAA/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFIUU/HQ USPACOM
RULSJGA/COAST GUARD WASHDC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC

UNCLAS UNVIE VIENNA 000650

SIPDIS

IO for A/S Hook
London for Whittlesey
Office of the Secretary for Defense for DAS/D Douglas

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UN AU KCRM UNODC RUEHZO UK TZ DJ YM SO KE
SUBJECT: UNODC PROJECT PROVIDES VEHICLE FOR PROMOTING LAW
ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS AGAINST PIRACY

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SUMMARY
-------

1. Piracy has been a growing topic of discussion within the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and among member states involved
in that organization. Many major donor countries which received a
December 5 briefing on potential UNODC activities in this field
believe there is an appropriate and targeted role for UNODC in the
international community's response to piracy near the Gulf of Aden
and Somalia. UNODC released during that briefing a useful technical
assistance proposal for strengthening law enforcement efforts
against piracy and developing a shiprider capability. The proposal
was developed at the request of the U.S. and focuses on addressing
legal gaps and strengthening the ability of Djibouti, Kenya, Yemen
and Tanzania to arrest, prosecute and detain pirates. The UNODC
proposal deserves favorable consideration for U.S. funding. Other
Vienna delegations are looking to the U.S. for a signal of how we
will approach this project proposal. END SUMMARY

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GROWING INTEREST AT UNODC
-------------------------

2. Given recent media coverage of the growing acts of piracy near
Somalia and the UN Security Council's resolutions on this topic, it
is not surprising that UNODC has developed a keen interest in the
law enforcement response to this threat. UNODC experts participated
in the International Expert Group on Piracy Off the Somalia Coast,
commissioned by Special Representative to the Secretary General to
Somalia and held in Nairobi from November 10-21. This group
explored legal authorities and methods for promoting international
cooperation against piracy, and will report its findings to the UN
Security Council-mandated ministerial meeting on piracy being held
in Nairobi on December 11.

3. On December 1, UNODC shared with UNVIE a $1.2 million proposal
technical assistance proposal for strengthening law enforcement
efforts against piracy. The proposal was developed at the request
of the U.S., and focuses on addressing legal gaps and strengthening
the ability of Djibouti, Kenya, Yemen and Tanzania to arrest,
prosecute and detain pirates.

4. At a December 5 meeting of UNODC Major Donors, UNODC formally
released the proposal to the twenty-one donor countries and provided
a short briefing on its proposed activities. UNODC's John Sandage,
Deputy Director of the Treaty and Legal Affairs Division and the
in-house coordinator for UNODC on the piracy issue, claims that
UNODC can get "boots on the ground" in as early as two weeks,
assuming there is financial support for the project. At the same
time, Sandage admitted that UNODC is still in the process of
securing approval of the four target countries to cooperate in the
proposed plan of action.

5. Some of UNODC's top donors, including United Kingdom, Canada,
Norway, and the EC, have expressed support for UNODC's venturing
into this area. Most agree that this project falls solidly within
the UNODC mandate and would add value to international efforts
against the piracy problem. Norway and the EC office in Nairobi
have also expressed specific interest -- although no formal
commitments -- to provide financial support for UNODC's work against
piracy.

--------------
UNODC PROPOSAL
--------------

6. There are two main aspects to UNODC's proposed short-term work
against piracy: addressing legal inadequacies to law enforcement and
building a minimal on-the-ground law enforcement capability. The
activities envisioned in these two areas are, to a large extent,
technical assistance activities which UNODC has extensive experience
providing to various countries throughout the world. This includes
strengthening prosecutorial and investigative abilities, building
judicial expertise, developing detention capabilities and providing
legislative and regulatory advice.

7. One unique activity would be developing a shiprider capability in

the four target countries. This proposed activity would address
current legal obstacles faced by ships that are patrolling the area
off Somalia. These obstacles include lack of criminal jurisdiction
in territorial waters, limitations in law enforcement powers, and
constitutional, legal or policy restrictions that may make it
impractical for patrolling ships to board pirate ships and detain
pirates. UNODC proposes to work with the target countries to
develop a shipriding corps that can literally bring relevant
jurisdiction to the patrolling boats and provide a greater level of
cooperation with nearby countries.

8. UNODC's short-term work may have some complementary affect of
helping some of these countries strengthen their legislation and
implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized
Crime (UNTOC), in addition to the Law of the Sea Convention and the
Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety
of Maritime Navigation. Kenya and Djibouti are parties to UNTOC,
while Yemen is a signatory.

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COMMENT
-------

9. While we understand that UNODC's proposal represents only a small
part of addressing the larger problem of piracy, it nicely targets
the current legal inadequacies that have hindered international law
enforcement cooperation in this area. It will allow international
UNODC experts to position themselves on the ground in relevant
countries and directly influence the ability and willingness of the
target countries to take more concerted law enforcement action
against this growing and troubling crime. UNODC is making efforts
to coordinate on this issue with other UN bodies, including the
International Maritime Organization and UN Development Programme
(UNDP). In fact, UNDP funded UNODC participation at the Nairobi
working group meetings in November and is cooperating closely with
UNODC.

10. COMMENT CONTINUED: With all this in mind, UNVIE urges favorable
consideration of the UNODC proposal and early identification of an
appropriate funding source. We would urge that a U.S. announcement
of support be coordinated in Vienna with UNODC major donors and
other interested delegations. This approach would have the added
benefit of maximizing prospects for generating counterpart funds
from other interested countries. It would also help avoid general
complaints that the UNODC is launching a new project based solely on
the request and funding of one country - a complaint that we
ourselves have made in other circumstances.

SCHULTE

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