India initiates open debate on maritime security at UNSC; PM Modi to head the meeting

By: |
August 09, 2021 3:05 PM

The focus of the debate today is on further strengthening coordination in the maritime domain, exploring ways to counter maritime crime and insecurity.

UNSC"The diverse aspects of maritime security cannot be addressed alone by a country. It is important that this is considered in a holistic manner in UNSC,” the official statement said. (Photo source: Reuters)

In an open debate in the United Nations Security Council focusing on Maritime Cooperation, to take place later today (August 9, 2021), Prime Minister Narendra Modi will become the first Indian leader to preside over such a format of debate.

He will chair ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation’ through Video Conferencing.

Who will participate in the debate?

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) there will be several Heads of State & Government. Also there will be representatives of important Regional Organisations as well as level briefers from the UN System.

The focus of the debate today is on further strengthening coordination in the maritime domain, exploring ways to counter maritime crime and insecurity.

Russian President will participate

Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate in an open debate in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which will be chaired by Indian PM Narendra Modi on Monday.

The Russian leader’s participation indicates Moscow’s support to the India-led initiative and the strategic relations between India and Russia. Russia is a permanent member of the council–P5. It has been coordinating closely with New Delhi since it took a seat at the high table.

Also, starting this year from January 1, 2021, India is now a non-permanent member of the UNSC for a 2-year term.

Also Read: Philippines’ brewing power struggle with China: Need for enhanced India-Philippines naval cooperation

Official statement issued by Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)

According to an official statement issued by the MEA, for the first time Maritime Security is an exclusive agenda item during a high level open debate.

“The diverse aspects of maritime security cannot be addressed alone by a country. It is important that this is considered in a holistic manner in UNSC,” the official statement added.

On the eve of India assuming presidency of UNSC, Ambassador TS Tirumurti (Permanent Representative to the United Nations) had told Financial Express Online that in the month long presidency, the focus will be on Maritime Security, Counter Terrorism and Peacekeeping.

“Maritime Security has been receiving the attention of UNSC, but there has been no holistic approach to the concept,” he had said.

Also Read: Maritime Security, Peacekeeping and Counter-Terrorism will be the focus of India’s UNSC presidency: Amb TS Tirumurti

India’s initiatives in Maritime Security Domain

In 2015 the vision of SAGAR or ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region’ was initiated. Then in 2019 during the East Asia Summit, is was

India has been coming out with policies on the issue in the past. In 2015 India put forth the vision of SAGAR . At the East Asia Summit in 2019 Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative or IPOI initiative was announced. Countries like Australia and France have joined IPOI which has seven pillars of maritime security. These include: Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport; Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation; Maritime Ecology; Maritime Resources; Capacity Building and Resource Sharing; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management; Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation.

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