Security Council
United States


Ryan van Osch

Cite as

Committee: Security Council

Country: United States of America

Delegate: Ryan van Osch

Topic A: Maritime Crime

The United States of America (US) has a long seafaring history. From the creation of the Thirteen colonies forth, the US has been on the forefront in the effort to prevent and combat maritime crime. Together with its partners and allies the US has gone through great efforts to curtail the transnational issue of maritime crime. Asserting a leading role in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) the US has provided valuable contribution to numerous anti-piracy operations including but not limited to, task force CTF-1511 an operation tasked with combating piracy off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden. Furthermore due to the enormous effort of The European Union, NATO and the UNSC, the threat existing because of the issue of piracy of the coast of Somalia has decreased significantly. This decrease has however led to a shift of theater of operations for the organization committed to maritime crime. This shift is moving the theater of operations from the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden to the Gulf of Guinea. With piracy spreading to the western part of Africa, the US is now looking to renew its commitment to anti-piracy missions and the stability of international trade.


To renew its commitment, it is imperative for the US to adequately tackle the problem of transnational maritime crime. This is the primary reason for the US to seek to effective measures to prevent and combat piracy on an international level. Furthermore the US recognizes that maritime security facilitates maritime commerce, providing a greater economic security.2 53% of the US imports and 38% of its exports are by seafaring vessels.3 Because of the heavy reliance on maritime trade, secure and stable maritime routes are vital to the interest of the US. However, combating piracy is not only out of economic reason. The US recognizes the impact piracy has on the stability of its regional partners and allies in the West African region. Piracy disrupts the continuation of economic growth and poses a serious security threat to the citizens. The result is an underdeveloped region. Such an underdeveloped region has the potential to become a breeding ground for the growth of transnational terrorism and instability. The primary ally of the US in West Africa is Nigeria, being the primary partner of the US in the war against terror in the West African sphere. Therefore it is imperative that its government is capable to cooperate with the US government and carry out military operations together with the US armed forces against transnational terrorist groups. This cooperation is not achievable as long as the state of Nigeria is affected by internal instability.4 However, through piracy, insurgent groups have managed to fund their efforts against the legitimate government of Nigeria. Which in turn has limited Nigeria’s efforts to combat and prevent the spread of transnational terrorism. Therefore it is vital that the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is tackled and stability and prosperity is returned to the region. For the past two decades the US has committed heavily to combating piracy in every hemisphere, being the main contributor to operation Ocean Shield5 and passing resolution 20186 in the Security Council setting the first steps in addressing the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Furthermore, under the Presidential Policy Directive 18 the US has put in place a ‘Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan’ providing a framework to tackle piracy issues worldwide.2

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