India’s 5-point agenda to enhance maritime cooperation

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over a UN Security Council (UNSC) open Debate via video conferencing recently. The agenda of the discussion was: Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation.
  • PM Modi’s 5-point agenda for enhancing maritime cooperation:
  • Removal of barriers to legitimate maritime trade: “Global prosperity depends on the active flow of maritime trade. Any hindrance in maritime trade can threaten the global economy,” PM Modi said. He added that maritime trade has always been part of the civilizational ethos of India. He termed this principle as ‘SAGAR’ Security and Growth for All in the Region.
  • Resolution of maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with international law: Citing the example of the resolution of India’s maritime dispute with Bangladesh, PM Modi said it is necessary for free maritime trade to fully respect the rights of seafarers of other countries.
  • Fight threats from natural disasters, non-state actors: PM Modi said the Indian Navy has been patrolling to counter piracy in the Indian Ocean since 2008. “We are enhancing the common maritime domain awareness of the region through our White Shipping Information Fusion Centre. We have provided support for hydrographical surveying and training of maritime security personnel to several countries,” he added.
  • Conservation of marine resources: “Our oceans directly impact our climate. Hence, it is very important that we keep our maritime environment free of pollutants like plastic waste and oil spills. We also need to take joint steps against over-fishing and marine poaching,” PM Modi said. He also emphasised the need for increased mutual cooperation in Ocean Science research.
  • Promoting responsible maritime connectivity: PM Modi said it is well understood that the creation of infrastructure is necessary to boost maritime trade. He then advocated for appropriate global norms and standards to ensure that such infrastructure projects are carried out as per the fiscal sustainability and absorption capacity of the host countries.
  • BACKGROUND: PM Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to preside over a UN Security Council Open Debate. The key discussion on maritime security was attended by the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the President of Russia, the President of Kenya and the Prime Minister of Vietnam, among others. India has assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council for the month of August.