Any Hindrance to Maritime Trade Can Hurt Economy: PM Modi at UNSC Debate

Following PM Modi's address, UNSC adopted the first-ever presidential statement on maritime security.

3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>PM Modi chairs UNSC Open Debate on&nbsp;‘Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case for International Cooperation’.</p></div>

Chairing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Open Debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case for International Cooperation’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 9 August, said that any hindrance to maritime trade can hurt the global economy.

Flagging the misuse of maritime routes for piracy and terrorism, Modi put forth five principles during his address, including the removal of barriers from legitimate maritime trade and the settlement of disputes peacefully and according to international law.

“Our prosperity depends on the active flow of maritime trade and barriers in this path can pose a challenge to the entire global economy. Free maritime trade is associated with the culture of India for time immemorial.”
PM Modi, as quoted by ANI

‘Must Face Maritime Threats Together’

Among the other principles he cited included responsible maritime connectivity, the need to collectively combat maritime threats posed by non-state actors and natural calamities, and safeguarding maritime environment and resources from pollution.

Emphasising on the need to keep in mind fiscal sustainability and capacity of countries while building infrastructure projects to enhance maritime trade, the PM said:

“We want to make an inclusive framework on maritime security in our region based on the vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region). This vision is for a safe, secure, and stable maritime domain.
PM Modi, as quoted by ANI

"A productive UNSC open debate on Maritime Security. UNSC chaired by an Indian PM for the first time. Two Presidents, one PM, and ten Minister joined PM @narendramodi on this important occasion (sic)," External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.

"Ten non-Council members sent their written position underlining that the debate was timely and relevant. PM articulated five key martime principles — on trade, disputes, natural disasters, environment, and connectivity," he said in another tweet.

PM Modi’s address came days after India took over the rotating presidency of UNSC from France on 1 August. TS Tirumurti, the Permanent Representative of India to the UN, said that they three key focus areas will be maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.

India has held the presidency seven times in the past.


UNSC Unanimously Adopts Presidential Statement on Maritime Security

Following PM Modi's address, UNSC adopted the first-ever presidential statement on maritime security.

"The Security Council reaffirms that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS), sets out the legal framework applicable to activities in the oceans, including countering illicit activities at sea."
Presidential Statement on Maritime Security

The statement expresses concern over the ongoing threats to maritime safety and security posed by piracy, armed robbery at sea, terrorists’ travel and use of sea to conduct crimes and acts against shipping, offshore installations, critical infrastructure, and other maritime interests.

The UNSC signatories acknowledged that terrorists may benefit from transnational organised crime in specific contexts and regions.

The presidential statement called upon member states to consider the ratification and implementation of global instruments as well as their participation in national, regional, and global initiatives that aim to build capacity to prevent and counter the illicit trafficking, including through seaports and at sea, of natural resources, arms, drugs, cultural property, and illicit trade in direct support of terrorism networks, as well as trafficking in persons.

"The Security Council encourages Member States to continue building and strengthening their capacities to enhance maritime safety and security, including against piracy and armed robbery at sea and terrorist activities, as well as against all forms of transnational organised crimes and other illicit activities in the maritime domain through the competent organisations and instruments."
Presidential Statement on Maritime Security

"Statement on Maritime Security unanimously adopted by UNSC. Thank all Council members for supporting the first signature event of Indian Presidency, (sic)" External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said in a tweet.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)

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