The Gulf of Guinea, an 11,000 square kilometer [4,247 square mile] body of water in West Africa, is one of the world’s most dangerous shipping routes, according to the International Maritime Bureau. This is largely due to piracy, which has claimed numerous lives, destabilized the region, and cost nearly $2 billion in financial losses per year. And although it has slowly declined over the past few years, piracy has not only continued to be a threat, it has also shown signs of spreading to other regions, according to the United Nations.
“The United States is committed to the lawful international navigation in, and the security and sustainable development of, the Gulf of Guinea region, and indeed the entire Atlantic Ocean basin,” said United States Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations Jeffrey DeLaurentis.
“Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is essential to maintaining a safe and prosperous Atlantic, both for Atlantic nations and those who depend on its waters for their livelihood,” he said.
“We reaffirm our commitment to assisting states in the region to counter piracy and armed robbery at sea, to holding perpetrators, facilitators, and key figures of criminal networks accountable, and to addressing other related destabilizing and illicit activities in the Gulf of Guinea.”
“The United States is wholly committed to supporting our partners as they address the grave and persistent threats posed by piracy, armed robbery, and transnational organized crime in the Gulf,” said Ambassador DeLaurentis.
“We further highlight the aim to criminalize and prosecute acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, and emphasize the need to support national, regional, and international efforts to counter piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea.”
“Through the collaborative efforts of many nations, the frequency of piracy has dramatically decreased. We encourage the region to continue its effort to maintain this progress. The United States will continue to be a close partner in doing so,” said Ambassador DeLaurentis.
“Challenges such as piracy; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; transnational organized crime; climate change; pollution; and environmental degradation all remain serious threats to our livelihoods and shared security.”
“The United States has pledged to increase our collaboration and coordination with nations across the Atlantic,” said Ambassador DeLaurentis, “ so that we can jointly face these most pressing security threats in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond.”