India’s Naval Voyage From Lothal to the Horseshoe Table

Prime Minister Modi proposed five principles, as a framework for international cooperation in maritime security.
India’s Naval Voyage From Lothal to the Horseshoe Table
Representative Image | The Indian Hawk Archives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over a UN Security Council debate on "Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case for International Cooperation" on August 9th. This was a historic first in more ways than one.

To begin with, it was the first time an Indian Prime Minister presided over a United Nations Security Council meeting. It was also the first time that maritime security was addressed as part of the international peace and security agenda item.

While the council has previously considered piracy and armed robbery at sea, this was the first comprehensive discussion. Finally, the Council issued a Presidential Statement on Maritime Security — the first such UNSC outcome statement on the subject — with the full assent of all 15 member nations to commemorate India's hosting of the event.

The UNSC Presidential Statement emphasized that international law, as codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, establishes the legal basis for marine endeavors.

It drew attention to terrorists' use of the sea, like in the Mumbai terror attacks on 26/11, and urged for capacity building and the sharing of effective practices to resist such atrocities.

It also acknowledged the persistent problem of transnational organized crime at sea. It placed a strong emphasis on protecting legitimate ocean usage, as well as the lives and livelihoods of sailors and coastal communities.

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