10th Indian Ocean Naval Symposium Seminar held in Kochi
The 10th anniversary celebration of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) was held in Kochi, Kerela. The two-day seminar aims to discuss maritime issues pertaining to cooperative capacity-building to deal with common security concerns in the region. The theme for this year’s seminar was “IONS as Catalyst for SAGAR’. SAGAR stands for ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’. It is in consonance with India’s ‘Act East’ policy and nation’s diplomatic, economic and military outreach in the region.
Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)
It is voluntary regional forum that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues. It endeavours to generate flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on way ahead.
Under charter of business adopted in 2014, it has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and anti-piracy now renamed as maritime security. It was launched in 2008 by India Navy, since then biennial meetings among the littoral states are held.
It has total 35 member nations grouped into four sub-regions.
- South Asian Littorals: India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka
- West Asian Littorals: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen
- East African Littorals: Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eriteria, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania
- South East Asian and Australian Littorals: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste.
- Observer Countries: China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia and Spain.