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An Indian sail to navigate the maritime environment

  • IASbaba
  • August 14, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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SECURITY/ ECONOMY

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors.
  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

An Indian sail to navigate the maritime environment

In news: PM Modi’s address on August 9 at the UNSC High-Level Open Debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case For International Cooperation”.

  • He described the oceans as a common heritage for humankind and a lifeline for the future of the planet.

Need for Maritime Security

  • With a long coastline and large island chains spread across the Indian Ocean, India has a natural seaward orientation, with key sea lanes of communication coursing through its surrounding seas.
  • 90% of global trade is conducted on the high seas, for the simple reason that it continues to be the most cost effective mode of transport.
  • Disruption of sea lanes of communication has National and global economic repercussions. 
  • Freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce are key to the spread of prosperity.
  • India’s natural interests stretch across both the Indian and Pacific Oceans as reflected in its inclusive Indo-Pacific vision.

During the debate, PM Modi outlined 5 principles needed for global maritime security. The principles are 

  1. Removing barriers from legitimate maritime trade, 
  2. Encouraging responsible maritime connectivity, 
  3. Settling maritime disputes through peaceful means and on the basis of international law, 
  4. Jointly facing natural disasters and maritime threats created by non-state actors.
  5. Preserving the maritime environment and resources.

Primacy of UNCLOS

  • As President of the UN Security Council for the month of August, India’s leadership in the debate on maritime security, that too at the level of the Prime Minister, has strengthened its credentials as a key stake-holder in the maritime commons. 
  • The Presidential Statement issued on the occasion highlights the commitment of the UN Security Council to international law. 
  • More relevantly, it emphasises the importance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as the legal framework governing all maritime activity.

Conclusion

India’s natural interests stretch across both the Indian and Pacific Oceans as reflected in its inclusive Indo-Pacific vision. No doubt, India’s initiative will further the prospects for a stable and enduring maritime environment.

Connecting the dots:

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