From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Need for maritime cooperation
A week into India’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) presidency, PM Modi has outlined a five-point framework for maritime security debate at UNSC.
- Maritime security is one of the latest buzzwords of international relations.
- Major actors in maritime policy, ocean governance and international security have in the past decade started to include maritime security in their mandate or reframed their work in such terms.
- Core dimensions of maritime security involves the concept of blue economy, food security and the resilience of coastal populations.
- A secure maritime environment provides the precondition for managing marine resources.
Threats to maritime security
Need for an agenda
- In today’s economy, the oceans have an increased importance, allowing all countries to participate in the global marketplace.
- More than 80 percent of the world’s trade travels by water and forges a global maritime link.
- About half the world’s trade by value, and 90 percent of the general cargo, are transported in containers.
- Many countries have invested significant resources in maritime infrastructure, trade, energy supply chains, cargo movements and processes.
- China, undeniably a continental country, claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters.
5-point agenda for enhancing maritime cooperation
 Removal of barriers to legitimate maritime trade:
- Global prosperity depends on the active flow of maritime trade. Any hindrance in maritime trade can threaten the global economy, PM said.
- Maritime trade has always been part of the civilizational ethos of India.
- PM termed this principle as ‘SAGAR’ Security and Growth for All in the Region.
 Resolution of maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with international law:
- Citing the example of the resolution of India’s maritime dispute with Bangladesh, PM Modi said it is necessary for free maritime trade to fully respect the rights of seafarers of other countries.
 Fight threats from natural disasters, non-state actors:
- PM said the Indian Navy has been patrolling to counter piracy in the Indian Ocean since 2008.
- It is enhancing the common maritime domain awareness of the region through our White Shipping Information Fusion Centre.
- India has provided support for hydrographic surveying and training of maritime security personnel to several countries.
 Conservation of marine resources:
- Our oceans directly impact our climate. Hence, it is very important that we keep our maritime environment free of pollutants like plastic waste and oil spills.
- We also need to take joint steps against over-fishing and marine poaching, PM said.
- He also emphasized the need for increased mutual cooperation in Ocean Science research.
 Promoting responsible maritime connectivity:
- PM said it is well understood that the creation of infrastructure is necessary to boost maritime trade.
- He advocated for appropriate global norms and standards to ensure that such infrastructure projects are carried out as per the fiscal sustainability and absorption capacity of the host countries.