PM Modi is the first Indian prime minister to preside over a UN Security Council Open Debate

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a high-level United Nations Security Council open debate on enhancing maritime security and the need for international cooperation in this field.

The prime minister chaired the open debate on "Enhancing Maritime Security - A Case for International Cooperation" via video conferencing.

The meeting is being attended by several heads of state and government of member states of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and high-level briefers from the UN system and key regional organisations.

The open debate was focused on ways to effectively counter maritime crime and insecurity, and strengthen coordination in the maritime domain.

The UN Security Council has discussed and passed resolutions on different aspects of maritime security and maritime crime in the past. However, this is the first time that maritime security is being discussed in a holistic manner as an exclusive agenda item in such a high-level open debate.

Here are the highlights of PM Modi's address at the UN Security Council Meet:

Sea routes are being misused for piracy and terrorism. There are maritime disputes between many countries. And climate change and natural disasters are also subjects related to maritime domain.

The ocean is our common heritage. Our sea routes are the lifeline of international trade. And, the biggest thing is that these seas are very important for the future of our planet. But today our shared maritime heritage is facing a number of challenges.

We must remove barriers in maritime trade. Our prosperity is dependent on seamless flow of maritime trade. The barriers in this are challenges for the entire world. Free maritime trade is connected to India's civilization since ages.

Maritime disputes should be resolved peacefully and on the basis of international law only. This is very important for mutual trust and confidence. This is the only way we can ensure global peace and stability.

We should face natural calamities and maritime threats created by non-state actors together. India has taken several steps to enhance regional cooperation on this subject. We have been the first responder in maritime disasters related to cyclone, tsunami and pollution.

We have to preserve the maritime environment and maritime resources. As we know, the oceans have a direct impact on the climate. And therefore, we have to keep our maritime environment free from pollution like plastics and oil spills.

We should encourage responsible maritime connectivity. It is clear that the creation of infrastructure is necessary to increase maritime trade. But, the fiscal sustainability and absorption capacity of the countries have to be kept in mind in the development of such infrastructure projects.