Explained: What’s maritime security? | India News

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead a high-level open debate in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on improving maritime security on Monday evening at 5.30 a.m. Prime Minister Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to lead an open debate in the UN Security Council.
The debate, entitled “Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation”, initiated by Prime Minister Modi, will be attended by several heads of state and government of the member states of the UN Security Council, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and the US Secretary of State Antony Blink.
While the UN Security Council has discussed various aspects of maritime security in the past, for the first time maritime security will be discussed holistically as an exclusive agenda item in an open, high-level debate, the government said.
What is maritime security?
The newest buzzword in international relations, maritime security, has no universally accepted definition. It classifies topics in the maritime field, including national security, the marine environment, economic development, and human security. It includes not only the world’s oceans, but also regional seas, territorial waters, rivers and ports.
Why is it significant?
Maritime safety is of paramount importance to the global community as it grapples with various maritime concerns ranging from piracy at sea to illegal immigration and arms smuggling. It also addresses threats from terrorist attacks and environmental disasters. A case in point is the recent incident in a suspected drone attack on an Israeli-controlled tanker in the North Arabian Sea off Oman, in which two crew members were killed.
For India, maritime security is an important aspect of national security as it has over 7,000 km of coastline. As technology advances, physical threats in the marine region have now been overshadowed by technological threats.
India’s exports and imports have largely remained via the Indian Ocean shipping routes. Therefore, securing Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs) has been an important issue for India in the 21st century.
The growing Chinese presence is also a cause for concern
Aside from other concerns, there are also concerns about China as an emerging IOR (Indian Ocean Region) with its growing presence. In 2019, the Chinese research vessel Shiyan 1 was sighted near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. But it wasn’t an isolated incident. In August 2020, amid the ongoing conflict in eastern Ladakh on the Sino-Indian border, China sent its Yuan Wang-class research vessel to the Indian Ocean.
During a presentation in 2019, Indian Naval Chief Karambir Singh said: “All of these traditional and nontraditional challenges require India to make considerable efforts, resources and the continuous development of its strategy for maritime security in the region.”
Maritime security is at the center of Indian foreign policy today.
‘SAGAR’ vision
With the aim of deepening economic and security cooperation with its maritime neighbors and helping to develop their maritime security capabilities. Prime Minister Modi shared the vision of SAGAR during his 2015 visit to Mauritius. presented
(“Security and growth for everyone in the region”).
The recent visits by foreign ministers to India’s maritime neighbors underscored the vision, which focuses on cooperative action for the sustainable use of the oceans, and provides a framework for a safe and stable maritime area in the region.
Recently, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was in Colombo for the India-Sri Lanka-Maldives trilateral. It took place after a hiatus of six years and focused on maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
Four years later, the vision was further elaborated through the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI). The initiative focused on seven pillars of maritime security: maritime ecology, maritime resources, capacity building and resource sharing, disaster preparedness and management, science, technology and academic collaboration, and trade connectivity and maritime transport.
(With inputs from agencies, new reports)

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