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PM Modi to Chair High-Level UNSC Debate on Enhancing Maritime Security

News Desk, News Nation 360 : With India holding the presidency of the powerful United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the first signature event under India’s leadership of the council on the issue of Maritime Security. The subject to be deliberated upon by the UNSC members on the 9th of August is “Enhancing maritime security: A case for international cooperation” under the larger umbrella of the “Maintenance of international peace and security”. This is seen as an extension of PM Modi’s advocacy of SAGAR (security and growth for all in the region) a foreign policy initiative unveiled in 2015 in relation to the Indian Ocean region (IOR). When asked about the importance and significance of the Prime Minister himself chairing a UNSC debate, unnamed sources in the Ministry of External Affairs explained that they have to understand that India has a long history of being a seafaring nation. In all directions from the Indian Ocean right up to the Pacific Ocean their maritime interests are strategic and significant, exports from India and imports into India also primarily rely on marine routes. Therefore it should not come as a surprise that India attaches the highest importance to issues of maritime security. PM Modi presiding (in virtual mode) over a High-Level open debate at the UNSC marks an innovative use of diplomacy where a senior diplomat or a minister has traditionally performed this role. However, to keen observers of India’s foreign policy and experts, Indian foreign policy under Narendra Modi has laid special emphasis on maritime security. India has also driven international consensus on the need to maintain free and open sea lanes based on the principles enshrined in the 1982 United Nations Convention on Laws Of the Seas treaty. Along with PM who will be chairing the meeting, a good number of senior diplomats and leaders are expected to participate in the UNSC debate. The importance of maritime security such as what can be done to address the causes of maritime crime and insecurity, how could member states enhance their capabilities and improve operational coordination to assess maritime security-related threats, and how to advance the implementation through international cooperation will some of larger themes of the debate. 

Report : Anustup Kundu