India’s Maritime Security
- A week into India’s United Nations Security Council (UNSC) month-long presidency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a debate on maritime security.
- The debate, titled, ‘Enhancing Maritime Security — A Case for International Cooperation’, had heads of state or government in attendance, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and Premier of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh.
- The UNSC adopted a ‘Presidential [India’s] Statement’ which reaffirmed that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) establishes the legal framework for maritime activities.
- The Convention has become the legal framework for marine and maritime activities.
- Also known as Law of the Sea, it divides marine areas into five main zones namely- Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Seas.
- UNCLOS is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces. It provides a different legal status to different maritime zones.
The Convention has created three new institutions on the international scene:
- INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE LAW OF THE SEA (ITLOS)
- It is an independent judicial body established by the UNCLOS to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.
- Disputes relating to the Convention related to the living resources of the sea, protection and preservation of the marine concern the delimitation of maritime zones, navigation, conservation and management environment and marine scientific research.
- It is composed of 21 independent members.
- It is open to States Parties to the Convention and other than States Parties like state enterprises and private entities.
INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY (ISA)
- It is an intergovernmental body based in Kingston, Jamaica, established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- It is mandated to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans.
- All Parties to the 1982 UNCLOS are members of ISA.
- COMMISSION ON THE LIMITS OF THE CONTINENTAL SHELF (CLCS)
- It has been assigned to play mainly two significant roles in the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles of a Coastal State.
- to evaluate the claim of a Coastal State for an area of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
- provide scientific and technical advice to the Coastal State in its preparation of its submission of the claim.
- It shall consist of 21 members who shall be experts in the field of geology, geophysics or hydrography, elected by States Parties to the Convention from among their nationals.
Source: THE HINDU.