India and Seychelles signed six agreements in key areas, including maritime security, and on sharing of white shipping information that would enable the two countries to exchange data regarding identity and movement of non-military commercial vessels.
More About the Maritime Security MoU:
According to the MoU, the countries will work together and improve maritime safety in the Indian Ocean Region. The safety provisions will be based on the SAGAR initiative – Security and Growth for All in the Region. With this, they will be able to correlate better and can share information in a more compressed way.
More About The Agreements:
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and the Department of Information Communications Technology of Seychelles on cooperation in the area of cyber security.
Significance of These Agreements:
It is essential for India to sign this agreement with Seychelles to learn about the maritime safety measures being implemented in this region. The Western Indian Ocean is governed by the “Maritime Security architecture”.
This architecture is implemented by Indian Ocean Commission. The IOC is supported by Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre, RCOC, and other countries like Djibouti, Comoros, Kenya, Mauritius, France, Seychelles, and Madagascar. India has no maritime agreements related to this part of the Indian Ocean with these countries except Seychelles. Even if it does, those agreements do not talk about sharing information! Thus, it is essential to sign the MoU with the country.
About Indian Ocean Commission:
- The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) is an intergovernmental body created in 1984 to protect the interests of the Western Indian Ocean islands.
- It consists of Madagascar, Comoros, La Réunion (French overseas territory), Mauritius and Seychelles.
- The Commission has five observers — India, China, European Union (EU), Malta and International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).
- Note: India is only an observer at the Indian Ocean Commission; not a full member.