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Organized sea crime a symptom of insecurity on land: S. Africa

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-02-06 17:25

UNITED NATIONS -- South Africa reiterates that transnational organized crime at sea is a symptom of insecurity on land and the scourge could only be fought through concerted holistic action on both land and sea, a South African official said here Tuesday.

Speaking at the Security Council Debate on "Transnational Organized Crime at Sea as a Threat to International Peace and Security," Mxolisi Nkosi, deputy director-general for global governance and continental agenda of South Africa, said that the country fully supports the call for strengthening the capacity of member states' maritime security in order to enforce international maritime law.

South Africa is a maritime country with a coastline of over 2,800 km, and an exclusive economic zone of 1.54 million square km straddling both the Indian and Atlantic oceans, which is larger than its land size. The country, therefore, remains concerned about the prevalence of transnational organized crime at sea, Nkosi said.

The African Continent undoubtedly understands the impact of these insidious activities on the stability, security and the development of both coastal and inland countries, the South African official said.

In many instances, it is the effects of transnational organized crime that fuels conflicts in the continent, he said, adding that the proceeds from these crimes contribute to a proliferation of small arms and light weapons, protracted conflicts, drugs and human trafficking, terrorism, money-laundering and increased mercenary activities.

Indeed, the link between transnational organized crime at sea and the threat it poses to the stability, security and economies of both coastal and landlocked states is visible and a matter of grave concern, Nkosi said.

In order to arrest the challenges posed by this broad phenomenon, it is crucial that a robust, regulatory framework and a coordinated and comprehensive approach be developed at national, regional and international levels to address this scourge.

Through its 2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy, the African Union (AU) seeks to rally member states to a coordinated and collaborative partnership that will foster wealth creation in a safe and secure African maritime domain, thus contributing to socio-economic development, the South African official said.

It should also be noted that the AU declared 2015 to 2025 as the Decade of the African Seas and Oceans, with the strategic aim of improving maritime conditions to ensure the protection and sustainable exploitation of the seas and oceans of Africa, he said.

South Africa fully supports the call for strengthening the capacity of member states' maritime security in order to enforce international maritime law, Nkosi said.

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