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PM Modi’s UNSC Debate Highlights: Avoid Maritime Trade Barriers, Counter Threats

New Delhi: In his role as chair of Monday’s open debate on maritime security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the importance of international cooperation in this area and pledged India’s support. A high-level open debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation’ was presided over by the Prime Minister via video conference. This is the first time maritime security has been made an exclusive agenda item in such a high-level open debate.

‘Several state and government officials of members of the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) and high-level representatives from the UN system and regional organizations are attending the meeting. During the open discussion, we focused on ways to effectively counter maritime crime and insecurity, as well as strengthen coordination in the maritime domain’, said PM Modi. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Modi is the first Indian Prime Ministerto preside over a UN Security Council Open Debate. From his address, the following were the most notable quotes:

  • ‘Our shared heritage is the ocean, and our maritime routes are the lifelines of international trade. Our planet’s future depends on these oceans,’ he said.
  • Sea routes are being used for piracy and terrorism. Many countries are involved in maritime disputes. Also related to the maritime domain are climate change and natural disasters, among other issues of concern to Prime Minister Modi.
  •   ‘We need to remove barriers to maritime trade. Barriers to maritime trade can pose a challenge to the global economy as prosperity depends on the active flow of maritime trade. Free maritime trade has been associated with the culture of India for ages,’ said PM Modi.
  • ‘For maritime security, I wish to outline five basic principles,’ he said.
  • # First, ‘legitimate maritime trade should be unblocked. We all benefit from the active flow of maritime trade. Bottlenecks in this can threaten the entire global economy,’ said Modi.
    #Second, ‘maritime disputes should be settled peacefully and in accordance with international law. Mutual trust and confidence are very important. We can only ensure global peace and stability by doing this’.
    # Third, ‘maritime threats posed by non-state actors and natural calamities should be faced together. Several steps have been taken by India to enhance regional cooperation on this issue. We have been the first responder in maritime disasters related to cyclones, tsunamis and pollution,’ he said.
    #Fourth, ‘we must preserve the maritime environment and maritime resources. Oceans have a direct impact on climate, as we all know. Therefore, we must keep our maritime environment free of plastic pollution and oil spills,’ the prime minister said.
    #Fifth, ‘to promote maritime connectivity responsibly,’ he said.

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  • ‘It is evident that infrastructure is necessary to increase maritime trade. “However, the fiscal sustainability and absorption capacity of the countries should be taken into consideration when developing such infrastructure projects,’ he said.
  • ‘We want to build an inclusive framework for maritime security in our region based on the vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in Region). We must build a safe, secure and stable maritime domain,’ said PM Modi.


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