quinta-feira, 6 de maio de 2010
VIENNA (Reuters) - The Seychelles will set up a regional centre to prosecute pirates as part of an international push to stem costly attacks of ships off the Somali coast, the U.N. crime-fighting agency said.
Seychelles, a group of islands to the east of lawless Somalia, already has experience in putting on trial pirates caught in its waters and now wants to play a wider role, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said.
"As naval activity in the Horn of Africa becomes increasingly secure, pirates are moving south, attacking yachts, fishing vessels and other ships based in or operating around Seychelles," it said in a statement on its website.
"In response, Seychelles has announced that it is to establish a regional centre for the prosecution of piracy".
Kenya has already moved to set up a similar court in reaction to the attacks and the United Nations Security Council has called for such special centres to help tackle piracy.
Under the plan, the Seychelles will be able to prosecute pirates caught by EU naval patrols in the area. The UNODC said it was working with the islands and European Union to prepare police, coastguard, prosecutors, courts and prisons for the trials. It did not give a timeframe for the plan.
The hijacking of ships near the coast of Somalia, where an Islamist insurgency and general lawlessness have helped pirates to flourish, has cost the shipping industry tens of millions of dollars in ransoms for vessels and their crews.
Prosecution of pirates, some of whom go free even if they are captured, has been hampered by disagreements over which country should try them. Somalia does not have the legal infrastructure for trials.
By Matthew Tostevin
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - African states have floated the idea of a separate trade deal package to address their concerns while big countries wrangle over full global agreement, the head of the World Trade Organisation said.
Africa wants a faster resolution to long-running global trade talks, held up by discussions among powers such as the United States, European Union, China and India over obstacles of less relevance on the world's poorest continent.
"There is not only a sort of frustration, but there is also an operational option which African countries floated the day before yesterday in the General Council in Geneva," Lamy told reporters at the World Economic Forum on Africa on Thursday.
"They haven't yet tabled a detailed proposal but my feeling is that that is coming," he said in Tanzania.
Such a proposal could meet scepticism in the United States and Europe, however, as rich countries would be reluctant to hand over something in advance and then not get credit when they push for a final deal.
Lamy said he expected such a proposal would address duty-free, quota-free access for goods from least developed countries with a similar deal on services and a possible deal on trade facilitation -- making cross border trade easier and cheaper.
It could also be expected to address one of the key demands of some African states for an end to cotton subsidies, which depress prices for poor farmers.
But it would not deal with tariffs on electrical goods or drugs, which matter to more industrialised economies.
"It is just a modification in the sequence of negotiations," he said. "Whether this will work or not is not for me to say, but my sense is that their growing impatience will probably lead them to take this sort of initiative".
Lamy said that as global trade was rebounding -- the WTO forecasts 9.5 percent growth this year after a 12.2 percent contraction in 2009 -- African trade was also increasing with the rest of the world and within the continent.
But he said access to trade financing after the global financial crisis had not returned so quickly in Africa.
"The market has seriously improved since last year but there still remain issues with liquidity availability and price in Africa," he said. "It certainly remains a constraint. More than on other continents".