Asia
India, Australia emphasise shared vision for cooperation in Indo-Pacific, say committed to  rules-based maritime order

India, Australia emphasise shared vision for cooperation in Indo-Pacific, say committed to rules-based maritime order

Jun 04, 2020

New Delhi [India], June 4 (ANI) Expressing common concern regarding the strategic, security and environmental challenges in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain, India and Australia on Thursday said they are committed to supporting a rules-based Indo-Pacific region that is based on respect for sovereignty and international law.
During their virtual summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrisson decided on a Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region to harness opportunities and meet challenges together as Comprehensive Strategic Partners.
The two countries affirmed their commitment to promoting peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, which is vital for the world.
"As two key Indo-Pacific countries, India and Australia have an enduring interest in a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region. They have a shared interest in ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight in the Indo-Pacific region, and maintaining open, safe and efficient sea lanes for transportation and communication. With a shared maritime geography and a deep and long-standing friendship, India and Australia are natural partners to work together towards realisation of this shared vision," the joint declaration said.
The two leaders said that India and Australia are committed to supporting a rules-based maritime order that is based on respect for sovereignty and international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They said India and Australia have common concerns regarding the strategic, security and environmental challenges in the Indo-Pacific maritime domain.
"These include activities and actions in the maritime domain that are inconsistent with international law, particularly UNCLOS, including terrorism, piracy, drugs and arms smuggling, irregular migration, people smuggling, trafficking in human beings, poaching of marine species, narcotics trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing," the declaration said.
It said that the region's environmental challenges, such as marine pollution, climate change, ocean acidification, shortage of potable water, loss of habitat due to storm surges and saline water intrusion, are also of shared concern.
In his remarks during the summit, Scott Morrison said that Australia is committed to building an open, inclusive as well as a prosperous Indo-Pacific region and India's role in that region will be critical in years ahead.
."In the Indo-Pacific, we are committed to an open, inclusive and prosperous region and India's role in that region will be critical in years ahead. The cultural links that we enjoy between our countries are well known. And what I am excited about is it's time for our relationship to go broader and to go deeper," Morrison said. (ANI)