Rajnath Singh said there is a need to find convergence of interests and commonality of purpose on maritime issues.
New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Wednesday, said the seas offer abundant opportunities for sustenance and growth of the mankind, but also poses challenges such as terrorism, piracy, drug trafficking and climate change.
Delivering the keynote address at Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD), 2021, Singh called for a cooperative response to challenges posed by seas which, he said, has considerable trans-national implications.
“There is a need to find convergence of interests and commonality of purpose on maritime issues,” the minister added.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Defence Minister said the Indo-Pacific is a "natural region" where the destinies of countries are interlinked.
The defence minister also asserted that India is fully determined to protect its legitimate rights and interests in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, while supporting the maintenance of rules based maritime systems, as mandated under the UN Convention on the Law of Seas (UNCLOS), 1982.
"While the seas offer abundant opportunities for sustenance and growth of the mankind, they pose challenges such as terrorism, piracy, drug trafficking and climate change," Singh added.
The minister said the seas are a vital communication link to facilitate transport of goods, exchange of ideas, catalysing innovations and contributing to bringing the world closer. “Although the Indo-Pacific is characterised by diversity, marked by a multiplicity of cultures, ethnicities, economic models, governance systems and varied aspirations, the oceans remain a common binding link,” he added.