Djibouti Code of Conduct | 17 Sep 2020

Why in News

India joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCOC) as an observer as part of efforts aimed at enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.

Key Points

  • Djibouti Code of Conduct:
    • About: It is also known as the Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
    • Objective: Under the code, the signatories agreed to co-operate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships.
    • Jeddah Amendment: An amendment to DCOC was made in 2017 to cover other illicit maritime activities, including human trafficking and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to build national and regional capacity to address wider maritime security issues, as a basis for sustainable development of the maritime sector.
    • Signatories: It has been signed by 20 countries including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Seychelles, Somalia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Jordan, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.
      • The member states are located in areas adjoining the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Africa and include island nations in the Indian Ocean.
    • Observers: India, Japan, Norway, the UK and the USA.

  • Significance of India Becoming an Observer
    • Boosting its Indian Ocean Outreach: As India is strengthening its position in the Indian Ocean and nearby waters as part of its overall Indo-Pacific policy, this move will help it in increasing its strategic footprints in Western and Eastern Indian Ocean besides Eastern African coastal states.
    • Blue Economy: Blue economy is one of the key areas of the Jeddah Amendment.
      • It refers to the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.
      • India has also focussed on the growth of the blue economy through its framework of Indian Ocean Rim Association and DCOC may be another step in that direction.
    • India-China: China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, its claim in the East China Sea and its rapid advance into the Indian Ocean through ambitious strategic and economic initiatives like the String of pearls and Belt-and-Road Initiative may pose a threat to india.
      • Further, China is modernising its military base at Djibouti.
      • Given India’s stakes in Indian ocean and rising Indo-China conflicts, it is very significant for India to develop blue-water naval capabilities.

India in Indo-Pacific

Source: HT