Recently, India’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) month-long presidency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a debate on maritime security.
- At the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Prime Minister has proposed five principles for global maritime security, including responsible connectivity and peaceful resolution of disputes, as he chaired a UN Security Council debate.
- The debate on maritime security was one of three signature events being organised by India during its presidency of the Security Council.
- The statement promotes safe and secure shipping while ensuring freedom of navigation in line with international laws.
- It seeks enhanced cooperation to protect critical infrastructure, including cross-border infrastructure.
What are 5 Principles for Global Maritime Security?
- The principles proposed by the Prime Minister are:
- Removing barriers from legitimate maritime trade,
- Encouraging responsible maritime connectivity,
- Settling maritime disputes through peaceful means and on the basis of international law,
- Jointly facing natural disasters and maritime threats created by non-state actors, and
- Preserving the maritime environment and resources
Need for Global Maritime Security
- China’s actions in the South China Sea, where it has militarised islands and unilaterally enforced its claims over disputed waters.
- India supported “a common rules-based order for the region” that “must believe in sovereignty and territorial integrity” and “rules and norms based on the consent of all, not on the power of the few”, as well as the peaceful settlement of disputes.
- Maritime threats from non-state actors and natural disasters.
- The UN estimates that more than three billion people worldwide, mainly in developing countries, depend on the ocean for their livelihood and well-being.
It is engaged in the business of maritime security, providing escort and guard services to the marine industry on a worldwide basis.
Challenges in Global Maritime Security
- Maritime security is being undermined by challenges around contested boundaries and navigation routes, and depletion of natural resources through illegal or unreported fishing.
- Threats include transnational crimes, drugs, human and weapons trafficking, piracy, theft of oil, illegal migration and natural hazards.
- Conservation of the maritime environment and marine resources, greater mutual cooperation in ocean science research and responsible maritime connectivity, stressing that global norms and standards should be developed for infrastructure projects aimed at boosting maritime trade.
- Piracy, especially in the oil industry, hostage-taking for ransom, and drug and human trafficking, have become commonplace.
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