India (local time) said that it is seeking a more cooperative and integrated future for the Indian Ocean region through the overall development of the ocean or blue economy.
Speaking at the Ad Hoc Committee on the Indian Ocean, 2021 session, Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations A. Amarnath said, “What we are seeking is a more cooperative and integrated future for the Indian Ocean region through overall development of the ocean or blue economy.”
“A post-COVID world necessitates the acceleration of such coooperation. This would help promote increased trade, tourism and investment, infrastructure development, marine research, technology sharing, sustainable fisheries and protection of the marine environment. India is already undertaking such efforts bilaterally with our friends from the region and through multilateral fora like the IORA,” Amarnath said.
He said that Oceans have been a source of prosperity when governed by the philosophy of cooperation, but they have become zones of confrontation when domination and conflict attain primacy.
“History is replete with instances when the oceans have witnessed both conflict and cooperation. It is of utmost importance that we learn from the lessons of the past and ensure that the oceans, the Indian ocean, in particular, remain a zone of peace and cooperation,” he said.
Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations stated Indian Ocean region is a diverse home to great cultures and holds immense opportunities for the future.
“Today, the Indian Ocean carries more than half of world’s container shipments, one-third of the bulk cargo traffic and two-thirds of the oil shipments, though three-fourths of this traffic goes to other regions of the world. Thus, apart from the strategic imperative, which is the main reason for the creation of this Ad Hoc Committee, there is a compelling economic & commercial narrative as well to ensure that the Indian Ocean remains a zone of peace. Therefore, we look forward to your further consultations on the mandate of the Committee and an update to the Committee on the same,” he stated.