Today's adoption by the UN Security Council of UN Resolution 2240 to combat the recent proliferation of, and endangerment of lives by, the smuggling of migrants and trafficking of persons in the Mediterranean Sea on the high seas represents an important political endorsement by the international community of EUNAVFOR MED – operation Sophia and its goals.
Two days ago, EUNAVFOR MED- Operation Sophia moved to its second phase in international waters, after having successfully fulfilled the objectives of phase 1 and contributed to rescue more than 3000 people. It will now be able to conduct boarding, search, seizure and diversion, on the high seas, of vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling or trafficking, and will contribute to bring suspected smugglers to justice.
Since its launch, the EU naval operation in the Mediterranean has been conducted in regular contact with the UN and within the international law. I briefed the UN Security Council on the preparation of the operation, back in May, and found a very high level of common understanding about the need to act quickly and in partnership against human smugglers.
We will continue to closely cooperate with the UN and the countries involved, to ensure a continued success of EUNAVFOR MED - Operation Sophia.