The UN Security Council held its first ever open debate on maritime security on August the 9th. While the Council discussed maritime crimes in earlier debates, and has been pro-active in addressing crimes, such as piracy, the open debate was a high level exchange focusing on the broader strategic picture. The fact that the meeting was held at the level of heads of state and minister, with among others India’s prime minister Mr. Modi, and Russian president Mr. Putin addressing the Council, documents that maritime security is increasingly a top priority.
The Security Council debate is an important yardstick for how the international community thinks about maritime security, what priorities are in the discourse and what responses and institutional developments it is likely to spur. To investigate the key take away points from the debate, I have written a series of comments on the debate.
In the first commentary, published with Maritime Executive on August,12th, I discuss consequences for the shipping industry. I argue that the debate indicates that the center of gravity of the maritime security debate is increasingly shifting away from the International Maritime Organization towards New York. This raises the question if and how the shipping community will want to engage with the UN debates. The commentary was also taken up in a story in Lloyds List.
The second opinion piece asks whether the United Nations require a new institutional set up for maritime security. This was one of the issues raised in the debate. In the comment I investigate different scenarios of how such a structure might look like. It was published with the Global Observatory.