Modi calls for Global legal framework to combat terrorism and sea-piracy

Published: Saturday, Nov 26,2011, 23:31 IST
Narendra Modi, Gujarat coastline, Gateway to India’s foreign trade, IBTL

Ahmedabad, Nov 26, 2011 : Gujarat Chief Minister Nar endra Modi today called for evolving a strategic consensus and agreement among different nations for a common legal and judicial framework to combat the growing menace of terrorism and piracy through sea routes.

Inaugurating an international conference on ‘ Global Maritime Security & Anti-Piracy’ at Gandhinagar, he stressed on the need to ensure no terrorist attack along the seacoast in a country like India with a long coastline. He s aid that maritime trade had been linked to development for centuries and now tourism. He called for t aking effective steps also to check hazardous cargo posing threat to coastal environment.

Mr. Modi said that Gujarat with a coastline of 1,600-km too, had a long history of mari time geography and trade. It has become a Gateway to India’s foreign trade with Europe, Africa, Middle East and South Asia in the 21st Century, the Gujarat ports alone handling 35 per cent of India’s total seaborne trade. Gujarat is the first state to encourage ports development in the private sector. It has two LNG Terminals.

He said that the conference being held on 26/11/2011 assumed special significance in the context of 26/11 terrorist attack from the seaside on Mumbai. He wished the conference would deliberate and arrive at important decisions to create awareness and evolve strategic means to check transnational violence and ensure maritime security. He expressed concern at certain terrorist outfits abusing navigation communication technology, making dents into maritime security, throwing new challenges to the security forces and pushing the world to destructive mentality. There is need for co-ordination and evolving consensus between diplomatic and military forces.

Mr. Modi said the trade through sea routes is set for further increase, besides increased offshore oil and gas exploration and fishery activity falling on important sea routes.

Talking about the steps taken in the state, he s aid, Gujarat Government has set up radar-based vessel traffic management system on the major sea routes, 12 modern coastal police stations, 31 high-mechanized boats and 600 maritime commandos. Formation of Gujarat Maritime Police Academy is on the anvil.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Seychelles Supreme Court Mr. Justice Dancan Gaswagha, Den mark’s Anti-Piracy Group Chairman-Ambassador for Somalia Coast, Indian Council of World Affairs Director-General Sudhir Deware, Secretary-General of British International Mari time Organization, UNO Legal Consul. Delegates from 30 countries are attending the two-day conference organized for the first time in the state by Gujarat National Law Society. Gujarat Government’s Additional Chief-Secretary (Ports-Transport) B.K. Sinha and GNLU Director Bimal Patel spoke on the significance of the international conference being held in Gujarat.

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