Indian Navy: 10th anniversary celebration of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium to be held in November


KOCHI: Chiefs of Navies, heads of Maritime agencies and representatives of 32 member and observer nations are expected to attend the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, known as IONS, in November this year here, a Defence spokesman said Sunday.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to be the chief guest for the November 13-14 event which would include a seminar, Tall Ship Regatta and the Release of a first day cover, depicting ’10 years of IONS’.

In line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the theme for the seminar is SAGAR “Security and Growth for All in the Region”.

IONS was an extremely significant regional maritime security initiative launched by India on February 14, 2008 under the aegis of the Indian Navy.

“After completing a decade of working productively and relentlessly to strengthen maritime security in the region, IONS is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year through a commemorative event planned to be hosted by the Indian Navy at Kochi on November 13 and 14”, Defence spokesman Sridhar Warrier told PTI.

IONS seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues, he said.

Apart from India, whose Chief of Navy Staff was the first head of the organisation during 2008-10, the Chairmanship of IONS has been held over the years by member nations such as the UAE, South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh and Iran.

These nations have planned and conducted important seminars and other activities related to enhancing maritime security during their tenures.

In the last ten years, the IONS had grown very significantly and boasts today of a membership of 32 nations, inclusive of eight observer-members, grouped in four clusters – South Asian Littorals, West Asian Littorals, East African Littorals, South East Asian and Australian Littorals, the spokesman said.

In addition to fostering maritime cooperation, other principle objectives of IONS were to promote a shared understanding of maritime issues facing the region, formulate strategies and cooperative mechanisms to enhance regional maritime security and strengthen capabilities to ensure speedy response to requirements of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the IOR.

The forum has captured the imagination of regional states effectively and has served as a valuable platform to synergise their efforts and resources for maintaining good regional maritime order.

Last week, a two-day 3rd meeting of IONS Working Group on HADR was held in Visakhapatnam where participants shared their experiences gained and lessons learnt during the conduct of various HADR operations by their Navies and deliberated on best practices that can be imbibed during Joint HADR operations in the IOR.

Warrier said for the 10th anniversary celebrations at Kochi, Chiefs of Navies, Heads of Maritime agencies and representatives of 32 member and observer nations are expected to attend.

As part of the regatta event, four Indian Navy sailing vessels are scheduled to embark an international crew and undertake a unique sailing venture from Kochi to Muscat, re-tracing the ancient maritime trade routes from the Malabar Coast to Persian Gulf that catalysed the spread of Indian culture to all parts of the world and brought high levels of prosperity to the region.

Invitations for the event have been extended to all ‘Member’ and ‘Observer’ nations, and most have already confirmed their intent to participate in it and strengthen the dialogue on enhancing maritime security in the IOR, Warrier said.

Being an important regional initiative led by India, the event holds high significance for the nation and the Indian Navy, he said.

It will not only solidify maritime partnerships with regional neighbours, but also contribute significantly in enhancing security and stability in the IOR, he said.

It also underlines the Indian Navy’s status as a net security provider in the region and a force that engages in cooperative mechanisms to support regional growth and progress, the spokesman added.


Source link

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.