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From piracy to maritime security, 7th Indian Ocean Conference has lot on agenda

03:15 AM Feb 11, 2024 IST | IANS
from piracy to maritime security  7th indian ocean conference has lot on agenda
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New Delhi, Feb 10: In a world marked by turbulence and uncertainty, the two-day 7th Indian Ocean Conference, themed “Towards a Stable and Sustainable Indian Ocean,” emerges as a beacon of hope and collaboration.

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The Indian Ocean, a critical arena where challenges and opportunities converge, takes centre stage as high-level global leaders convene to deliberate on its stability and sustainability.

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Challenges and Concerns

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As delegates cast their gaze upon the Indian Ocean, they confront a myriad of challenges that threaten global security and prosperity. From conflicts and piracy to concerns about maritime sovereignty and international law, the region embodies the complexities of the interconnected world and sharing Oceans and global trade. Disruptions stemming from climate change, natural disasters, man-made disasters, and geopolitical tensions further exacerbate the fragility of the Indian Ocean landscape.

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Against this backdrop, adherence to established norms and concerted efforts towards consultation and cooperation become imperative and India Foundation, New Delhi with partners like RSIS, Singapore and US Asia Centre, Perth holding the 7th India Ocean Conference at the right moment was much appreciated by leaders who matter.

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In his inaugural address, India's Minister of External Affairs, Dr. S Jaishankar, underscored the significance of addressing the multifaceted challenges facing the Indian Ocean region. He emphasized the need for greater consultation and cooperation among member states to navigate the turbulent waters of the modern geopolitical landscape.

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Forging a path Towards resilience: Policy Response and Collaborative Initiatives

In the face of evolving threats and uncertainties, stakeholders emphasize the importance of collective action and strategic partnerships. Mechanisms such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) offer platforms for dialogue and cooperation on maritime security, sustainable development, and disaster management, suggested Dr Jaishankar. He further added that the emergence of the Quad, elevated to the summit level, underscores the commitment to addressing shared challenges and advancing regional stability.

 

India’s Role and Contribution

Dr S Jaishankar in his inaugural speech stated that India, with its rich maritime heritage and strategic location, emerges as a key player in shaping the future of the Indian Ocean region. Through initiatives like the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and collaborations within the Quad framework, India demonstrates its commitment to promoting maritime security, connectivity, and sustainable development. The country's engagement with regional forums such as BIMSTEC reflects its emphasis on bolstering regional cooperation and fostering inclusive growth.

 

Charting a Course for Collaboration

As the conference draws to a close, participants reaffirm their commitment to enhancing cooperation and resilience in the Indian Ocean region. From strengthening institutional frameworks to launching innovative projects, stakeholders pledge to work together towards a stable and sustainable future. With the Indian Ocean as a unifying force, the conference catalyzes deeper engagement and collaboration among member states, laying the foundation for a more prosperous and secure maritime domain.

 

Acknowledging India Foundation and Australia’s Role and Hospitality

Amidst discussions on regional cooperation and security, participants express gratitude to Australia for its role as the host of the conference and its commitment to fostering dialogue and collaboration in the Indian Ocean region. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong's warm welcome to the delegates and gracious hospitality was much appreciated by the attending members who see the major role of Australia's dedication to promoting peace and prosperity in the region.

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