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UNCLOS ‘Laws of the Seas’ at coronary heart of UN Security Council consensus, China onboard

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Monday marked the primary occasion of an Indian premier addressing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Earlier, the then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao had attended an UNSC assembly on January 31, 1992. As exterior affairs minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee additionally attended the UNSC assembly on September 29, 1978, when he had advocated for Namibian independence on the UNSC.PM Narendra Modi’s speech on the UNSC on maritime safety was ready in session with numerous companies in New Delhi, in addition to inputs from India’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.READ: Sea routes being misused, says PM; lays 5-point agenda to reinforce maritime cooperationThe speech centered on 5 primary rules to supply a construction of the agenda that was adopted with consensus to enhance maritime safety coordination.Apart from advocating for an atmosphere conducive to authentic maritime commerce, PM Modi additionally spoke concerning the want for settling maritime disputes peacefully and placing up a joint struggle in opposition to pure disasters and non-state actors.Chairing the UNSC High-Level Open Debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case For International Cooperation”.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 9, 2021
“Oceans are our shared heritage. They are also the lifeline of international trade. Above all, they are key to our planet’s future. However, today, this common maritime heritage of ours faces various types of threats. Maritime routes are being misused for piracy and terrorism,” Prime Minister Modi stated.UNCLOS recognisedInterestingly, the most important take away from this open debate on maritime safety was the truth that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS) was recognised on the UN Security Council.With India holding the presidency of the Security Council, consensus on the UNSC President’s assertion was preceded by weeks of negotiations and backward and forward between numerous member states.China, which is historically against the thought of UNCLOS, was additionally onboard.India took a accountable but consensus constructing strategy by initiating consultations amongst all UNSC member states a number of months upfront. An idea be aware incorporating the framework was additionally circulated on this regard. PM Narendra Modi addressing open debate at UNSC on Monday | Credits: media.un.orgIn his assertion, UN Security Council President Ambassador TS Tirumurti stated, “The Security Council reaffirms that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS), sets out the legal framework applicable to activities in the oceans, including countering illicit activities at sea.”This is the primary time that the ‘legislative framework’ for UNCLOS has been recognised and accepted within the context of maritime safety. Earlier, it was acknowledged within the context of piracy in Libya and Somalia however not within the context of maritime safety.What is UNCLOS?As per the UNSC Presidential assertion, “UNCLOS is the legal framework applicable to activities in the oceans, including countering illicit activities at sea.”The framework highlights the significance of enhancing worldwide and regional cooperation to counter threats to maritime security and safety. It additionally requires efforts by regional and sub-regional organizations and particular person nations on this regard.READ: India helps freedom of navigation in int’l waterways like South China Sea: Defence Minister Rajnath SinghIn addition, UNCLOS stresses mutual authorized help and different types of legislation enforcement cooperation in opposition to transnational organized crime at sea, together with bilateral or regional agreements or preparations.The framework additionally seeks to strengthen cooperation for maritime security and safety, together with in opposition to piracy, armed theft, terrorism, human and drug trafficking.The UNCLOS additional promotes secure and safe delivery whereas making certain freedom of navigation in accordance with relevant worldwide legal guidelines.China’s Permanent Representative offers open debate a missWhile hypothesis was rife as to why China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Zhang Jun, was not current for the open debate, an official stated that the rationale for his absence was real as he needed to head again to Beijing for consultations for the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in September.With a visit to China involving quarantine, it was not potential for Zhang Jun to be current for the open debate, the official added.However, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative and present Chargé d’Affaires Dai Bing represented the nation on the open debate on maritime safety.Diplomatic win for IndiaThe different cause why the popularity of UNCLOS is taken into account an enormous diplomatic achievement for India is as a result of this was the primary ever standalone dialogue on “Maritime Security” within the UN Security Council (UNSC).Other member states of the UNSC tried to maneuver a debate on maritime safety nevertheless it was at all times stalled, primarily by China. Past makes an attempt by Vietnam (April 2021) and Equatorial Guinea (February 2019) for a full dialogue didn’t succeed. Vietnam was not even allowed a dialogue on the matter.For India, the opposite essential side was to get the problem of “terrorism” highlighted, extra so when India has been on the receiving finish of terrorists getting into the nation utilizing sea routes, as was confirmed following the 26/11 Mumbai terror assault.UNSC President’s assertion”The Security Council notes with concern the ongoing threats to maritime safety and security posed by piracy, armed robbery at sea, terrorists’ travel and use of the sea to conduct crimes and acts against shipping, offshore installations, critical infrastructure, and other maritime interests,” the UNSC President’s assertion learn.The assertion went on to say, “The Security Council notes the deplorable loss of life and adverse impact on international trade, energy security and the global economy resulting from such activities and, in this regard, emphasizes the importance of safeguarding the legitimate uses of the oceans and the lives of people at sea, as well as the livelihoods and security of coastal communities.”#IndiainUNSCAdoptedPresidential Statement on Maritime Security adopted by the #UNSCAn essential recognition of the significance of maritime safety by the UNSCA name for worldwide cooperation.— India at UN, NY (@IndiaUNNewYork) August 9, 2021
A presidential assertion can’t be issued with out consensus. The line of world leaders who backed the popularity of UNCLOS reveals the work that went into making certain that every one have been onboard, albeit with reservations.Roping within the African Union and Russia certainly should have helped issues with Beijing since a lot is at stake for this P5 nation in Africa. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the President of Kenya, the Prime Minister of Vietnam and, in a uncommon look, the President of Russia, have been all current through the open debate.