The event took place at the initiative of Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi. India holds the presidency of the UN Security Council in August 2021.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Prime Minister, my dear friend, Mr Modi, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me thank you, Mr Prime Minister, for the fact that you, as someone who is currently holding the UN Security Council presidency, convened this Security Council meeting to discuss an important and sensitive topic, namely, modern challenges and threats in maritime security. Your initiative is in line with the constructive role that India has traditionally played in the international arena, thus contributing to the promotion of multifaceted, mutually beneficial and equitable cooperation.
The seas and oceans have always connected people and civilisations. Unfortunately, sea routes are fraught with many threats. That is why it is important that today we are reviewing substantive practical matters related to fighting “21st century piracy” meaning to establish a more effective counteraction to transnational crime and prevent the use of seas and oceans for criminal purposes.
As you, Mr Prime Minister, aptly mentioned in your remarks, for us to achieve meaningful success in this area, we must unite the efforts of all stakeholders, as well as international organisations and regional associations with the central coordinating role of the UN and the UN Security Council.
I have said it more than once and now, addressing the Security Council members, and I would like to reiterate that Russia stands for strict observance of the key norms and principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, such as respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and resolution of disputes by way of dialogue.
I hope that the participants in our debates will agree that the UN principles are mandatory in the sphere of peaceful and responsible use of marine spaces, their natural resources, protection of the marine environment, and sustainable economic activity in the vast swathes of our planet covered by water.
As a leading maritime power, Russia is doing much to preserve and strengthen the international legal order as it applies to maritime security. Our country is strongly involved in activities covering the entire range of these issues both at the UN and as part of numerous regional formats, including the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, the ASEAN Regional Forum and East Asian summits.
Russia is also interested in building productive cooperation with the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Indian Ocean Commission.
And, of course, we are trying to help ensure security in the Persian Gulf zone and the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic, where cases of sea banditry with hostage taking have become more frequent.
The specific nature of the situation is that it is really difficult for some countries to defend themselves from international criminal syndicates, pirates and terrorists. This is why there is the matter of uniting the power potential of all the interested countries’ special services and corresponding troops under the auspices of the UN.
Russia is ready to further share its experience in antiterrorist operations as well as in preventing crime, and identifying and eliminating bandit groups, including at sea.
We believe it would be useful to regularly exchange insights and best practices in countering terrorism, armed robbery and criminal activities at sea.
In this context, it would be feasible to think about establishing a special structure within the UN that would directly address problems related to combatting maritime crime in various regions. At the same time, this body would rest on UN member states’ support and actively involve experts, representatives of civil society, researchers and even private businesses in its work. We hope that our partners would consider Russia’s proposal constructively.
In conclusion I would like to reaffirm that the Russian Federation is committed to the common task of countering crime at sea in all its forms. We are ready to further promote the development of equal international cooperation in this area.
I would like once again thank our Indian friends for this useful initiative to hold this meeting today and to wish India continued success in implementing its functions as president of the United Nations Security Council this month.
Colleagues, thank you for your attention.