Indian Ocean Naval Symposium

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Recently, the 8th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs (CoC) was conducted by the Royal Thai Navy at Bangkok, Thailand.

About Indian Ocean Naval Symposium

  • It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
  • It was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008 as a forum which seeks to enhance maritime co-operation among Navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The inaugural edition of IONS was held in Feb 2008 at New Delhi, with Indian Navy as the Chair for two years (2008 - 2010). 
  • In the process, it endeavours to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on the way ahead.
  • There are 36 littoral in the Indian Ocean which have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions
    • South Asian Littorals: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom (British Indian Ocean Territory)
    • West Asian Littorals: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
    • East African Littorals: France (Reunion), Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
    • South East Asian and Australian Littorals: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
    • Observers: China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain.
  • As a first, Flag designed by India was selected as the IONS Flag.
  • India also took over as the co-Chair of IONS Working Groups on Maritime Security and HADR for the forthcoming cycle. 
  • Republic of Korea Navy was welcomed by the Conclave as the latest ‘Observer’.

Q1) What is the Indian Ocean Rim Association?

It was established in 1997 as an intergovernmental organisation of States on the rim of the Indian Ocean. It has members from Africa, West Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia , Europe and Oceania. The Association’s membership has expanded to 23 member states and 11 dialogue partners.