India’s 5 point framework for maritime security – UPSC GS3

Context: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a debate on maritime security at UNSC.
5 Principle Framework laid down by India:
  • Removal of barriers to maritime trade: First framework called for removal of barriers to maritime trade, in this context PM highlighted the significance of India’s SAGAR (security and growth for all in the region).
  • Peaceful resolution of maritime disputes: Second framework focused on peaceful resolution of maritime disputes in accordance with International laws.
  • Jointly tackling maritime threats: Third framework asked countries jointly tackle maritime threats from non-state actors and natural disasters
  • Protection and conservation: Fourth framework called for protection and conservation of maritime environment and marine resources
  • Responsible maritime connectivity: Fifth framework asked countries for responsible maritime connectivity. It was a reference to China’s Belt & Road initiative.
Views of other states
  • USA: Criticized the actions of Russia in the Black Sea, Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov, against Ukraine; criticized China for violating maritime laws and held Iran responsible for the attack on MV Mercer Street. It is the responsibility of every member state to defend the rules that we all agreed to follow and peacefully resolve maritime disputes. (The U.S. has not ratified UNCLOS but recognizes it as international law)
  • France: Highlighted that the maritime domain has emerged as a theatre for new generation of challenges and urged greater cooperation among the members of the UN Security Council.
  • UK:  UNCLOS applies to all the oceans, and all the seas and does not depend on wish of the state. The UK has a vision for a free, open and secure Indo-Pacific as like India.
  • Russia: Russia held that UN principles must be observed in peaceful and responsible use of maritime spaces
  • China:  Slammed the formation of “exclusive groupings” with reference to Quad and pointed out that the United States has not signed UNCLOS. The UNSC is not the right platform for a discussion on the South China Sea. It also criticised Japan for releasing the radioactive water of the Fukushima nuclear reactors.
Significance of the debate
  • The debate is attended by important functionaries from major powers reflecting the importance of maritime security
  • Growing cooperation between India and USA, India and Russia
  • India’s role as net security provider in the region was reiterated and endorsed
  • Adoption of “presidential statement” highlights major diplomatic achievement for India
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