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PM Modi chairs UNSC open debate on maritime security, outlines THESE 5 principles

Monday, 9 August 2021 (21:10 IST)
United Nations/New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chairing an Open Debate at the UN Security Council on Maritime Security, on Monday called for evolving a global framework to conserve and utilize the shared maritime resources, and outlined five principles, including removing barriers to maritime trade.

Addressing the Open Debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation’, with India holding the month-long presidency of the UN Security Council, Prime Minister Modi also highlighted India’s vision of SAGAR – Security, And Growth for All in the Region.

The five principles outlined by him are: Firstly, removing barriers to maritime trade, and he warned that hurdles in maritime trade “can pose a challenge to the global economy”.

Secondly, maritime disputes should be settled peacefully and based on international laws.

Thirdly, countries should come together to combat natural disasters and the threats posed by non-state actors. He outlined the steps taken by India in this regard.

Fourthly, he outlined the need to protect maritime resources and the maritime environment as oceans have a direct impact on the climate.

Fifthly, he spoke of the need to “encourage responsible maritime connectivity”. While the building of infrastructure projects is needed, one must keep in mind “the fiscal sustainability and absorption capacity of nations”, and called for formulation of global norms and standards towards this -- in apparent reference to China that has been building ports in several countries, and leaving the countries in deep debt.

“Oceans are our shared heritage, our ocean paths are international trade lifelines, and these oceans are very important for our planet’s future,” he said.

“But our shared heritage is today facing several challenges – the ocean paths are being misused for piracy and terrorism, many countries are involved in maritime disputes, and climate change and natural disasters too are connected to the maritime domain,” he said.

He expressed hope that based on the five principles the UNSC would be able to evolve a roadmap for maritime security cooperation. He said that the high level participation, with Russian President Vladimir Putin among the participants, showed that maritime security is an important topic for members of the UNSC.

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