Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
June 21, 2023


Thank you, Madam President, and thank you to our distinguished guests for their excellent and informative briefings.

We congratulate Member States on progress made towards implementation of the Yaoundé Architecture during the ten years since its creation. As we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, we look to the Yaoundé Architecture as an important example of regional maritime architecture for the world.

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. 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.

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 also commends the efforts of the AU, the Economic Community of Central African States, the Economic Community of West African States, the Gulf of Guinea Commission, and their partners, in their coordination to enhance cooperation on maritime security and to further operationalize the Yaoundé Architecture.

I want to underscore the importance of Security Council Resolution 2634 on piracy and armed robbery 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.

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.

We concur that 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.

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 so that we can jointly face these most pressing security threats in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond.

Thank you, Madam President.