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Cablegate: Somalia Piracy: Demarche Response On Un Role On

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0816 2462254
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 032254Z SEP 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7146

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000816

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SO XA KCRM UNSC PHUM PHSA EWWT
SUBJECT: SOMALIA PIRACY: DEMARCHE RESPONSE ON UN ROLE ON
COMBATTING PIRACY

REF: SECSTATE 90069

1. (U) USUN Poloffs and USUN Deputy Legal Advisor
delivered reftel points on June 3 to Department of Political
Affairs (DPA) Somalia Chief Walid Musa Abdelkarim and UN
Political Affairs Officers G. Justin Jepson and Kiyoshi
Matsukawa.

2. (SBU) DPA Somalia Chief Abdelkarim was extremely
receptive to the points delivered, explaining that many of
the issues had already been addressed at the Contact Group on
Piracy off the Coast of Somalia's (CGPCS) recent meeting in
Copenhagen. Abdelkarim noted that Under-Secretary General
Lynn Pascoe has designated DPA as the official focal point
for all UN activities related to piracy and plans to announce
this during the CGPCS's plenary in New York September 10.
Abdelkarim raised the UN's offer to take over the
secretariat function of the CGPCS, and said that during the
upcoming plenary, DPA would like to establish a formal
relationship with the current U.S. Secretariat. To
facilitate information sharing on piracy amongst the various
UN entities, DPA has created a coordination mechanism with
four clusters - sea based, land based, regional /legal (UNODC
/OLA), and criminal. UNODC is carrying out capacity building
by focusing on three tasks: drafting fast-track procedures,
technical vetting for legal and prosecutor requests and
improving prison conditions for those prosecuted for piracy.
Abdelkarim was responsive to Poloffs concerns about the
duplication of the CGPCS's efforts and said that there is an
outstanding need to clarify, "where the line is," to better
define roles.

3. (SBU) In response to concerns about deconflicting the
International Maritime Organization's (IMO) planned
capacity-building trust fund with the International Trust
Fund (ITF) to be administered by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP), Abdelkarim explained that DPA
has been working closely with IMO to ensure that the designs
complement each other and avoid overlap. He noted that the
IMO's fund is still a work-in-progress, and not yet
operational. Abdelkarim encouraged the CGPCS to design the
ITF's governing board to include representatives from the UN
Office on Drugs and Crime, IMO, the UN Country Team (UNCT),
and DPA, emphasizing that UNCT is the strongest candidate
given its representative's location in Nairobi and focus on
pertinent issues including the root causes of piracy.

4. (SBU) Abdelkarim said that UNCT plans to update the CGPCS
on recent piracy-related prosecutions, including the seven
individuals incarcerated in Puntland. UNCT will also detail
its focus on identifying investors who fund piracy operations
off the coast of Somalia. According to Abdelkarim, each
attempted hijacking, regardless of success, costs between US$
3,000 and US$ 6,000 to undertake, including the cost of
technology, equipment, and boats, as well as upfront payments
to navigators, gunman, negotiators and coordinators who
remain on land. Abdelkarim explained that the pirates
themselves make only 20 to 30 percent profit from a heist,
with the remainder going to the investor. He said that
pirates have educated themselves on prosecution systems and
have updated their tactics in response, throwing weapons
overboard, for example, to hide evidence.
RICE

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