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  • 09 August, 2021

  • 15 Min Read

Maritime Security open debate at UNSC

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will chair the High-level Open Debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation’ on 9th August. Shri Narendra Modi, would be the first Indian Prime Minister to preside over a UN Security Council Open Debate.
  • The meeting is expected to be attended by several Heads of State & Government of member states of the United Nations Security Council, and highlevel 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 UN Security Council has discussed and passed resolutions on different aspects of maritime security and maritime crime. However, this will 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. Given that no country alone can address the diverse aspects of maritime security, it is important to consider this subject in a holistic manner in the United Nations Security Council.
  • A comprehensive approach to Maritime Security should protect and support legitimate maritime activities, while countering traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime domain.
  • 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.
  • 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
  1. Maritime Ecology;
  2. Maritime Resources;
  3. Capacity Building and Resource Sharing;
  4. Disaster Risk Reduction and Management;
  5. Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation;
  6. Trade Connectivity and
  7. Maritime Transport.
  • The participation of world leaders in the session is part of the broader global message about the consensus over India providing leadership of the UNSC as the world deals with conflicts in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Yemen among others.

Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI)

  • The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) was first suggested by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 14th East Asian Summit.
  • It is also part of the SAGAR mission to expand and facilitate regional cooperation of India’s maritime neighbours.
  • The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative’s objective is to strengthen maritime boundaries. To this end partnerships based on the principle of free trade and sustainable use of maritime resources is stressed upon.
  • A partnership between ‘like-minded’ nations is the core principle of the IPOI. Such partnerships should have three common goals in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) which are wealth creation, welfare promotion, and cooperative win-win strategies.
  • The proverbial cog in such mutual cooperation is to promote welfare via a democratic model of governance win by creating a rules-based order that promotes free trade and work together in order to create wealth.

Kashmir issue at UNSC

  • The current stint is the eighth time that India has held the Presidency of the top U.N. body.
  • Yet out of all the tenures, it is the first in 1950-51 that left lasting lessons about how difficult international affairs can be at the level of the chair of the President.
  • It was in 1950-51 that the issue of Kashmir took a critical turn at the Security Council which took the Indian delegation by surprise.
  • India was still struggling with the initial phase of freedom and the Kashmir issue had opened up almost immediately with the war of 1947-48. The issue arrived at the UN on January 1, 1948 as India urged the UNSC to discuss the battle that began with the invasion of tribal irregulars from Pakistan.
  • The Indian submission marked the origin of the “Jammu and Kashmir Question”. The title of the dispute was changed on January 22, 1948 to “The India-Pakistan Question”.
  • The period from 1948 to 1951 was heated as far as the Kashmir issue was concerned as there was little flexibility on display by either India or Pakistan as the UN involvement through the first UN Representative Owen Dixon failed to resolve the situation.
  • In this backdrop, on March 30, 1951, the UNSC took up an Anglo-American resolution on Kashmir and laid out a process of continuation that would give the Kashmir issue a long shelf life at the UNSC where it was formally taken up last time in 1971 before the August 2019 discussion on the issue by China in the backdrop of India’s abrogation of Article 370 by the government of Prime Minister Modi.
  • What was particularly embarrassing about the 1951 resolution was that the Kashmir issue concerned the President of the UNSC — India — and yet neither the U.S. nor the U.K. hesitated from going ahead with it.
  • The Resolution 91 decided to replace the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) with UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan).
  • It also decided to appoint a UN Representative for India and Pakistan in continuation of the role of Sir Owen Dixon.
  • The second decision almost institutionalised the Kashmir issue in the U.N.

Source: TH

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