Tackling Non-traditional Maritime Security Threats in the Indo-Pacific

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This webinar will discuss how key non-traditional maritime security challenges shape the security and strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific.

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Event overview

The Indo-Pacific has emerged as a space for great power competition between China and the United States. Besides this wider strategic struggle, however, there are a number of localised security issues that are priorities for regional states. These include risks often categorised as non-traditional maritime security threats, such as: piracy and armed robbery at sea; trafficking of arms, narcotics and persons; illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; and natural catastrophes and threats emerging as a result of climate change. These issues play a key role in shaping the overall security environment and regional security architecture of the Indo-Pacific.

In this webinar, Abhijit Singh and Veerle Nouwens explore how the understanding of non-traditional maritime security threats in the Indo-Pacific has evolved over time and why these are important, and sometimes existential, priorities for regional states. In addition, they examine the role of multilateral institutions in addressing non-traditional maritime security concerns and how these threats as well as the capabilities developed to combat them impact the growing securitisation of the region.


Abhijit Singh is a Senior Fellow and Head of the Maritime Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in New Delhi. A former Indian naval officer with specialist and command experience in front-line naval ships, he was involved in the writing of India's maritime strategy (2007). He has edited two books on maritime security: Indian Ocean Challenges: A Quest for Cooperative Solutions (2013) and Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific (2014) and has published papers on India’s growing maritime reach, security of sea-lines of communication in the Indo-Pacific region, Indian Ocean governance issues and maritime infrastructure in the Asian littorals.

Veerle Nouwens is a Research Fellow in RUSI’s International Security Studies Department. Veerle’s expertise lies in analyzing geopolitical relations in the Asia-Pacific region, and her research interests include China’s foreign policy, cross-strait relations, maritime security and ASEAN. Prior to joining RUSI, Veerle worked for the European External Action Service at the Delegation of the European Union to Singapore’s Political, Press and Information Section. In this role, she focused on EU-Singapore bilateral relations and Europe’s role in Southeast Asia.

This event is chaired by Aaditya Dave, Research Analyst, International Security Studies, RUSI.

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