United Nations: Stressing on enhancing maritime security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for peaceful settlement of disputes as per international law and for jointly combating maritime threats posed by non-state actors as he chaired a high-level UN Security Council open debate.
Addressing the debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation” via video conferencing, Modi put forward five principles for inclusive maritime security strategy, and mentioned India’s vision SAGAR’ for sustainable use of the oceans.
He also emphasised that the oceans are the world’s common heritage and sea routes are the lifeline of international trade.
Underlining that the countries’ shared maritime heritage is facing many challenges, the Prime Minister said,”we should remove barriers for legitimate maritime trade. Global prosperity depends on the active flow of maritime trade. Any hindrance in maritime trade can threaten the global economy.”
The second principle, he said, was that the settlement of maritime disputes should be peaceful and on the basis of international law.
“This is very important for mutual trust and confidence. This is the only way we can ensure global peace and stability,” he asserted.
Modi said it was with this understanding and maturity that India resolved its maritime boundary issues with its neighbour Bangladesh.
He said the third key principle was that the global community should jointly fight maritime threats posed by natural disasters and non-state actors, and added that India has taken several steps to enhance regional cooperation in this regard.
Preserving the maritime environment and maritime resources, and encouraging responsible maritime connectivity were the fourth and fifth principles enunciated by the prime minister.
Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to preside over a UN Security Council Open Debate, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The meeting was being attended by several heads of state and government of member states of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and high-level briefers from the UN system and key regional organisations.
The open debate was focussed on ways to effectively counter maritime crime and insecurity, and strengthen coordination in the maritime domain.
The UN Security Council has discussed and passed resolutions on different aspects of maritime security and maritime crime in the past.
However, this is the first time that maritime security was discussed in a holistic manner as an exclusive agenda item in such a high-level open debate.