Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said prosperity depends on the active flow of maritime trade and barriers in this path can pose a challenge to the entire global economy. Presiding over the UN Security Council debate — a first for an Indian Prime Minister — Modi said, “Free maritime trade has been associated with the culture of India since time immemorial… Oceans are our shared heritage and our maritime routes are the lifelines of international trade. These oceans are very important for the future of our planet.

However, this shared heritage is facing several types of challenges, he said, highlighting that these “maritime routes are being misused for piracy and terrorism”.

Calling for removing barriers from legitimate maritime trade, he said, “Any hindrance to maritime trade can hurt global economy.”

At the debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security — A Case for International Cooperation”, attended by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and several other heads of government of UNSC member states, Modi also batted for safeguarding maritime environment from pollution through plastics and oil spills. “We need to promote responsible maritime connectivity, building infrastructure must to boost ocean trade,” he added.

Modi also insisted on collectively combatting natural disasters and maritime threats created by non-state actors.

Based on the above suggestions, Modi put forth five basic basic principles for maritime security: i) Free maritime trade sans barriers so as to establish legitimate trade; ii) Settlement of maritime disputes should be peaceful and on the basis of international law only; iii) Responsible maritime connectivity should be encouraged; iv) Need to collectively combat maritime threats posed by non-state actors and natural calamities; v) Preserve maritime environment and maritime resources.


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