The security of the maritime domain has become a topical area of concern, with threats thereto manifesting in multiple ways, ranging from military activities at sea to marine litter discharges and noise pollution. As an issue of common interest of the international community, maritime security has ignited some commendable initiatives both internationally and regionally, aimed at setting up new legal and institutional frameworks of cooperation.
However, current regimes have proved to be ill-suited to address the globalized maritime challenges of today. By and large, a sustained common vision on how to better serve the common interest is currently lacking, owing in part to an intricate North-South divide over both rights and obligations regarding ocean governance. It is thus still necessary to merge the priorities of the various stakeholders into a comprehensive maritime security architecture.
This policy brief purports to illustrate this state of affairs through a brief analysis of major themes related to maritime security. Rather than addressing issues of entitlement to ocean space and use, the present paper concentrates on the question of how to conceive a responsible use of the maritime domain. For its purposes, the analysis in this paper is of course more illustrative than comprehensive and is intended to highlight current challenges and issues that should be taken into account by policymakers in the regulation of emerging seas uses.