Presidential statement on Maritime Security unanimously adopted by UNSC

United Nations, Aug 9 (FN Bureau) The presidential statement on Maritime Security was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council, under the presidency of India, after an Open Debate on the subject chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. “Thank all Council members for supporting the first signature event of Indian Presidency,” tweeted External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar after the event. The debate, on the topic ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation’, saw the two presidents, one prime minister and 10 ministers join Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is the first time that an Indian Prime Minister was chairing an open debate at the UNSC. India is holding the month-long presidency of the 15-member world body. A productive UNSC open debate on Maritime Security. UNSC chaired by an Indian PM for the first time. Two Presidents, one PM, and ten Ministers joined PM @narendramodi on this important occasion,” tweeted the EAM.

He said that ten non-Council members sent their written position underlining that the debate was timely and relevant. “PM articulated five key maritime principles- on trade, disputes, natural disasters, environment and connectivity.” The statement emphasised the importance of the international treaty, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS), which it said ‘sets out the legal framework applicable to activities in the oceans, including countering illicit activities at sea.” The UNSC noted with concern the ongoing threats to maritime safety and security posed by piracy, armed robbery at sea, terrorists’ travel and use of the sea to conduct crimes and acts against shipping, offshore installations, critical infrastructure, and other maritime interests. The Security Council noted the deplorable loss of life and adverse impact on international trade, energy security and the global economy resulting from illegal activities and emphasized the importance of safeguarding the legitimate uses of the oceans and the lives of people at sea, as well as the livelihoods and security of coastal communities.

The Security Council welcomed the creation of platforms like the Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to facilitate legal cooperation, investigation and prosecution of criminal networks and welcomed continued work by UNODC, upon request of Member States. The Security Council also recognized the need to strengthen the capacity of Member States, on their request, to take effective measures against transnational organized crimes at sea and invited Member Stales to share their experiences with others members, the UNODC and the International Maritime Organisation on the possible gaps and vulnerabilities in that regard. The Security Council encouraged the UN as well as regional and subregional organisations to continue their endeavours in assisting member states in their capacity building and in sharing effective practices to prevent and combat terrorism at sea.