May 3, 2013 -
The United Nations Trust Fund for the Fight against Piracy has recently approved a package of projects in support of anti-piracy efforts in Somalia and other affected States in the region. The new projects, among other aspects, include a system of biometric identification to support and monitor fisheries resources.
“The dramatic decline in pirate attacks is clear evidence of years of hard work by United Nations Member States, international and regional organizations, and actors in the shipping industry,” the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun said.
“But, while acknowledging the gains, we should not be under any illusion that piracy has been conclusively brought under control,” Zerihoun said. “The international community should continue to support the efforts of Somalia and States in the region to strengthen their maritime law enforcement capacities and their rule of law sector”. He added, “With the Trust Fund’s resources largely spent, now is the time to replenish the Fund to bridge critical gaps in counter-piracy efforts.”
According to the United Nations’ the five approved projects, worth $2 million, aim to ensure that the ongoing piracy trials are conducted in a fair and efficient manner and that the human rights, health and safety of individuals suspected of piracy are protected. The projects approved today will also facilitate the repatriation from the Maldives to Somalia of detainees suspected of piracy, as well as supporting Kenyan prisons in meeting minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners.
These projects will provide biometrics-based fishermen database systems to support monitoring and surveillance of fisheries resources, while providing important information to counter-piracy forces.
No stranger to biometrics, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees is currently leveraging digital fingerprinting in South Sudan to strengthen refugee protection, as well as to help the country’s most vulnerable citizens.