At India's initiative, the UN Security Council has for the first time adopted a resolution strongly condemning the growing practice of hostage-taking by pirates operating off the coast of Somalia.
The Council, which so far the had not considered the problems of hostages taken by pirates, in a resolution adopted on Monday also expressed serious concern at the inhuman conditions hostages face in captivity.
Co-sponsored by India, the resolution also recognises the adverse impact of the act of hostage-taking on the families of the hostages and calls upon all member states to cooperate on the issue of hostage-taking.
The resolution calls for the immediate release of all hostages and urges States and international organizations to share evidence and information for anti-piracy law enforcement purposes.
With these positive elements, the resolution will go a long way in helping States deal with the scourge of piracy and hostage-taking, the Permanent Mission of India said.
The problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia is a serious threat to international security and maritime trade. Somali pirates are operating further and further off from the Somali coast, it said.
A few recent incidents of piracy have taken place about 250 nautical miles away from the Indian coast. India has been seriously concerned at these developments and the Indian Navy and Coast Guard have stepped up their vigil against pirates in its EEZ, the Indian mission said.
The International Maritime Bureau reported that in 2010 alone, 1,016 sailors of all nationalities were taken hostage by Somali pirates, of whom 638 continue to remain in captivity.
It has been a matter of serious concern for India that 53 Indian nationals, who were aboard the hijacked ships, are being held captive by pirates, the Indian mission said.
India's contribution in the drafting and adoption of the resolution has been widely appreciated by the members of the Security Council, it said.