Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a United Nations Security Council open debate on Monday evening, becoming the first India PM to do so. The debate focused on “Enhancing Maritime Security — A Case for International Cooperation”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said prosperity depends on the active flow of maritime trade and barriers in this path can pose a challenge to the entire global economy.
Prime Minister — Modi said, “Free maritime trade has been associated with the culture of India since time immemorial… Oceans are our shared heritage and our maritime routes are the lifelines of international trade. These oceans are very important for the future of our planet”. The Prime Minister went on to add that the sea is facing challenges on multiple fronts. He highlighted that ‘sea routes are being misused for piracy and terrorism’. He also mentioned that there are maritime disputes between many nations and climate change, too, is linked to the maritime domain. During his address, the Prime Minister also referred to India’s ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ and several other initiatives to promote sustainable fishing. Based on the suggestions in the debate, PM put forth five basic basic principles for maritime security: i) Free maritime trade sans barriers so as to establish legitimate trade; ii) Settlement of maritime disputes should be peaceful and on the basis of international law only; iii) Responsible maritime connectivity should be encouraged; iv) Need to collectively combat maritime threats posed by non-state actors and natural calamities; v) Preserve maritime environment and maritime resources. The debate was attended by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and several other heads of government of UNSC member states.