Four countries have been given the go ahead from a newly issued UN resolution to chase and thwart off- would-be Somali pirates from their coasts and in their waters.

This resolution aims to bring to an end the rise in ship high-jacking for ransom in the waters off the 1,880-mile coast of lawless Somalia that have made them one of the world's most dangerous shipping zones.

The draft Security Council resolution would authorize states, with approval from Somalia's transitional government, to use all necessary means to identify, prevent, and repress actions of piracy and armed robbery.

This year alone has experienced more than a dozen pirate attacks. In the most recent incident, pirates seized a Spanish Playa de Bakio vessel on April 20 with its 26 occupants who were later freed for a ransom of $1.2 million.

The draft resolution urges states to use commercial sea routes off the Horn of Africa state to increase their coordination to deter acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.

The draft resolution was formally introduced at a closed meeting on Monday afternoon by U.S. and France. It is co-sponsored by Britain and by Panama, whose flag flies on many of the world's vessels.

The resolution would authorize countries to enter Somali territorial waters and use any means necessary to deter piracy, including boarding, searching and seizing suspect vessels and arresting the pirates.

Noted in the resolution is the fact that the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote a letter dated November welcoming international assistance to address the piracy problem.

A follow up letter in February requesting the security council's urgent assistance in security the territorial and international waters off the coast of Somalia for the safe conduct of shipping and navigation.

Somali government has agreed to the resolution according to France's U.N. Ambassador, Jean-Maurice Ripert.

Since the 1991 toppling of Dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, Somalia has been without an effective central government giving way to anarchy and violence.

Kidnapping and piracy are lucrative businesses and most Somalis treat their captives well in anticipation of a ransom.

Diplomats declined to say when the resolution would be passed, saying there were complex legal issues involved.