Beyond the Economy: Blue Economy and Multilateralism in the Indian Ocean

Divyali Mehrotra,

Goa University, India

Abstract. Oceans cover over 70 per cent of our planet's surface and enhance more than 80 per cent of global trade. Considering how important the oceans are as a resource for humankind, the concept of Blue Economy became widely used, thereby acknowledging and recognising the need for sustainable use of oceanic resources for the benefit of humankind. In the development of oceans, Blue Economy adopts the principles of the green economy to include low carbon emissions, resource efficiency and social inclusion. It is also part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as Goal 14. Therefore, the Blue Economy, as a concept, has become a guide for maritime and foreign policy. In a time where the focus of the international community is on public health and the economy, in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, the world also seems to be preoccupied with regional stability and connectivity. Our national security not only depends on traditional security policies but also on our multilateral ties, our ability to cooperate and sustainability in our practices. Multilateralism is imperative in the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean as the region is marked by political tension, and intensely competing ideological narratives. Therefore, in these circumstances, multilateralism is a tool that can help countries defuse tensions and build common understandings of shared challenges. Focusing on protecting biodiversity and promoting sustainability opens new avenues for regional and global cooperation. Therefore, a comprehensive and structured blue economy policy for the region has the potential to foster peace, cooperation and stability. This paper attempts to address the issues of developing the Blue Economy in the Indian Ocean Region, and its potential as a tool for multilateral cooperation, economic relations and collaboration to build a secure and stable regional network.

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Beyond the Economy_ Blue Economy and Multilateralism in the Indian Ocean
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Indic Journal of International Law, e-ISSN: 2582-8398, Volume 1(2) (2021).

Originally published on September 7, 2021