Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level open debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation’ on August 9 at 5:30pm IST via video conferencing.
At 5:30 PM tomorrow, 9th August, would be chairing the UNSC High-Level Open Debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case For International Cooperation”. https://t.co/p6pLLTGPCy
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 8, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level open debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security A Case for International Cooperation’ on August 9 at 5:30pm IST via video conferencing.
“This would be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister would be presiding over a meeting of the UN Security Council,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday. This will also be the first time that ‘maritime security’ will be discussed in a holistic manner as an exclusive agenda item in such a high level open debate.
On Sunday, Modi himself tweeted to announce the event. He wrote, “At 5:30 PM tomorrow, 9th August, would be chairing the UNSC High-Level Open Debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case For International Cooperation”.
A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said, “The meeting is expected to be attended by several heads of state & government of member states of the United Nations Security Council, and high level briefers from the UN System and key regional organizations. The Open Debate will focus on ways to effectively counter maritime crime and insecurity and strengthened coordination in the maritime domain.”
The meeting, which is one of India’s signature events during its August presidency, will be chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In attendance would be world leaders – Russian President Vladimir Putin, Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Other leaders who are expected to participate in today’s event are Deputy Prime Minister of Niger Hassoumi Massoudou, President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh. Several other ministers representing their countries are also expected.
The Council will be briefed by Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet; Ghada Fathi Waly, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Félix Tshisekedi, in his capacity as chairperson of the African Union (AU).
The statements of the briefers and Council members will be broadcast live, while non-Council members will have the opportunity to submit their statements in writing.
WHAT INDIA PLANS TO PROPOSE
India has circulated a concept note ahead of the debate to help guide the discussion. Monday’s meeting aims to provide Council members with an opportunity to discuss possible responses to the interconnected security, economic and environmental threats posed by maritime crimes such as piracy and armed robbery, human and drug trafficking, and transnational organised crime at sea.
India will highlight the need to strengthen international cooperation to address the drivers of maritime insecurity. The concept note advocates for cooperation between a broad range of actors to develop a coherent and holistic response to maritime security threats and asks participants to consider what roles the private sector can play in addressing maritime crime, Security Council report says.
“The Oceans have played an important part in India’s history right from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. Based on our civilizational ethos that sees the seas as an enabler of shared peace and prosperity, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi put forward the vision of SAGAR – an acronym for ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region’ in 2015. This vision focuses on cooperative measures for sustainable use of the oceans, and provides a framework for a safe, secure, and stable maritime domain in the region,” stated the PMO press release.
In 2019, at the East Asia Summit, this initiative was further elaborated through the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) with a focus on seven pillars of maritime security including Maritime Ecology; Maritime Resources; Capacity Building and Resource Sharing; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management; Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation; and Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport.
WHAT’S ON THE UNSC AGENDA?
At Monday’s debate, several Council members may emphasise the centrality of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the leading international legal framework governing maritime activity. They may also reaffirm their commitments to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols, the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation.
The draft presidential statement is expected to be adopted at Monday’s debate. India had circulated a first draft of the presidential statement on July 21 and Council members held several rounds of negotiations to discuss the text. The draft presidential statement passed on August 6.
According to Security Council report, “an early draft of the presidential statement requested that the Secretary-General produce a standalone report to the Council on threats to maritime security. However, it seems that China objected to this proposal, and it was not retained in the text.”