6th Indian Ocean Conference- IOC 2023
The Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) was established in 2016 and over the past six years, it has become the prominent consultative forum for nations in the region to discuss regional affairs. The objective of the IOC is to facilitate discussions on regional cooperation for Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) by bringing together important states and principal maritime partners of the region on a common platform.
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6th Indian Ocean Conference- IOC 2023: Key Points
- External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar emphasised that the vision of the Indo Pacific has become a reality in the 21st century.
- He made this statement during the 6th Indian Ocean Conference-2023 in the Bangladeshi capital, where he also acknowledged Bangladesh’s recent announcement of the “Indo Pacific Outlook” and warned against countries that try to impede the region’s progress.
- Jaishankar noted that the Indo-Pacific represents contemporary globalisation, and a departure from the framework established in 1945, which some countries still have a vested interest in perpetuating.
- The Indian minister was in Dhaka for a two-day visit, during which he met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and his counterpart, Dr. AK Abdul Momen.
During his meeting with Ms. Hasina, it was revealed that Bangladesh would be among the “guest countries” at the upcoming G20 summit hosted in Delhi, and both sides expressed satisfaction with the level of bilateral cooperation in various fields. Muhammad Ziauddin, Dhaka’s Ambassador-at-large and the Sherpa for the upcoming G-20 summit, also attended the meeting.
About Indian Ocean Conference- IOC:
- The first IOC took place in Singapore in 2016 and was attended by more than 300 delegates from 22 countries, including ministers, political leaders, diplomats, strategic thinkers, academics, and media.
- The second conference was hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2017 and was attended by representatives from over 40 countries. In 2018, the third IOC was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, and was attended by delegates from 44 countries.
- In 2019, the fourth edition was hosted in Maldives and was attended by delegates from 40 countries. The fifth IOC was held in 2021 in Abu Dhabi, UAE and was addressed by 37 speakers from 21 countries.
The 6th IOC is set to take place on May 12-13, 2023, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and is being organised by India Foundation in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh, and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. The theme for the conference is “Peace, Prosperity and Partnership for a Resilient Future”. The conference aims to bring together a distinguished gathering of key stakeholders to chart the course for strengthening the Indian Ocean Region.
6th Indian Ocean Conference- IOC 2023: Attendees
- There are 150 attendees from at least 25 nations present at the meeting, but Myanmar, currently facing international pressure regarding the Rohingya crisis, is not in attendance.
- Hasina advocates for “maritime diplomacy” among members of the Indian Ocean region to secure a conflict-free environment that can contribute to regional prosperity.
- She also emphasizes the need to promote a “culture of peace” in the IOR.
- In addition, Ms. Hasina requests assistance from the international community to facilitate the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar.
- She notes that Dhaka has thus far prevented a significant humanitarian catastrophe by hosting over a million Rohingya refugees, and now seeks active support from the global community to repatriate these individuals to their homeland safely and sustainably.
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