UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday welcomed the adoption of a code on tackling insecurity in waters off Central and West Africa, calling on regional countries to implement it.
"The Secretary-General welcomes the adoption of the Code of Conduct concerning the Prevention and Repression of Piracy, Armed Robbery against Ships, and Illegal Maritime Activities in West and Central Africa," said a statement issued here by his spokesperson.
The code "defines the regional strategy and paves the way for a legally binding instrument," it added.
Ban also commended the countries and organizations in the region for their high level of engagement and collective efforts to address and prevent piracy.
Piracy "remains a serious threat to the security and economic activities of the affected countries," he noted.
Meanwhile, the UN chief encouraged all regional players to sign and implement the code, and called on international partners to provide the necessary resources.
A summit of Central and West African countries on maritime safety and security was held in the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde earlier this week. During the event, the leaders adopted the code on fighting piracy.
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is estimated to cost regional countries 2 billion US dollars a year, posing an increasing threat to the oil-rich region.