Choppy waters: On global maritime security
Why in news
- Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the stage to address the UNSC on a debate on maritime security. He will be the first Indian premier to do so.
What is UNCLOS ?
- Its full form is The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
its also known as The Law of the Sea Convention and The Law of the SeaTreaty.
- The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS) is an international treaty which was adopted and signed in 1982. India ratified the law in 1995.
- UNCLOS defines the rights and responsibilities of States with respect to their use of the world’s oceans and its become the legal framework for all marine and maritime activities.
- This treaty was signed by 168 countries
- It replace the territorial sea and the contiguous zone ,the continental shelf ,the high sea fishing and conservati0on of living resource on the high seas .
- It divides marine areas in 5 zones –
- Internal water
- Territorial seas
- Contiguous zone
- Exclusive economic zone
- The high seas
Source: Maritime Zones published in “UNCLOS 30”
- Indeed the acceptance at the UNSC of the legislative framework for UNCLOS, the legal frame work applicable to activities in the oceans the including countering illicit activites at sea , is seen as an important achievement during indias month at the helm of the council.
Role of india in UNCLOS
- India played a constructive role in UNCLOS,.
- India wants to keep focus of the discussion on building maritime ties and developing maritime infrastructure through regional cooperation initiatives.
- The sustained interest of the india in promoting maritime security also draws from sagar vision plan aimed at strengthening economic and security connecting with regional maritime nations.
- India has 7 maritime boundries –
SAGAR Vision plan
- , India was admitted to Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) as an observer member. This development is one of the steps in India’s strategic vision (SAGAR) for the Indian Ocean.
- In 2015, India unveiled it’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean i.e. Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).It is an increasing recognition of the increasing importance ofmaritime security, maritime commons and cooperation.
- Through SAGAR, India seeks to deepen economic and security cooperationwith its maritime neighbours and assist in building their maritime security capabilities. For this, India would cooperate on theexchange of information, coastal surveillance, building of infrastructure and strengthening their capabilities.
Significance of SAGAR Vision
- SAGAR provides a mechanism for India to expand strategic partnerships with other IOR littorals in Asia and Africa.
- SAGAR indicates the leadership role and responsibilities India is ready to play in the region on a long-term basis in a transparent manner through its capacity building and capability enhancement programs.
- The key relevance of SAGAR emerges when seen in conjunction with India’s other policies impacting the maritime domain likeAct East Policy, Project Sagarmala, Project Mausam, India as ‘net security provider’, focus on Blue Economy
- This symbolises India’s maritime resurgence, as maritime issues are now centre of India’s foreign policy.
- With effective implementation of all these policies, India can act as an enabler to create a positive environment in the IOR.
Objectives of the UNCLOS
- To promote the peaceful use of the seas and oceans;
- To facilitate International Communications;
- To enable equitable and efficient utiliesation of ocean resources;
- To protect and preserve the marine environment;
- To promote Maritime safety.
- Our prime minister narendra modi ji gave five rules or plans to enhance maritime security worldwide-
- Removing barriers to legitimate maritime trade.
- Setteling maritime dispute peacefully and based on international law .
- Jointly facing maritime natural disaster and maritime threats created by non state actors.
- Preserving maritime environment and resource and encouraging responsible maritime connectivity’