Increased militarization and terrorist activities big challenges in IOR: FS

By: |
Updated: November 08, 2021 6:55 PM

Speaking at the Goa Maritime Conclave -- “Maritime security and emerging non-traditional threats: A case for proactive role for IOR navies” foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said “To ensure free trade and security the countries in the IOR need a new cooperative architecture for their common maritime space.”

Naval Chiefs and other representatives from Madagascar, Maldives, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Also, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.

With an ever increasing battery of threats and uncertainties, the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), will face rapidly evolving, an increasingly complicated, and more demanding security situation, says India’s Foreign Secretary.

Speaking at the Goa Maritime Conclave — “Maritime security and emerging non-traditional threats: A case for proactive role for IOR navies” foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said “To ensure free trade and security the countries in the IOR need a new cooperative architecture for their common maritime space.”

New threats combined with COVID-19, have highlighted the necessity for all the countries to work together and to suggest common solutions. And to tackle these issues, India is ready. He also focussed on irresponsible fishing which is damaging the region’s food security.

During his address, the foreign secretary talked about how the new technologies are being combined with the non-traditional threats to create sub-conventional security threats and problems. “Security within the context of foreign policy was traditionally related to countering external security threats. And, now, countries in the region have to contend with non-traditional and sub-conventional threats that require new solutions.”

He also urged the countries of the IOR, their navies, coast guard forces and maritime security agencies to work closely to deal with the emerging security threats that cannot be anticipated.

To better manage the problems, the countries in the IOR can work on strengthening procedures, structures, understandings, and resources. “This will help us in creating a surge capacity to deal with the unknown,” the foreign secretary stated.

Post COVID-19, the countries in the region are devising new solutions which are based on cooperative approach, on promoting interoperability across state-borders, and sharing information.

These new activities are in law enforcement and policing and are appropriate to the “newer and rapidly evolving threat matrix”.

Which are the non-traditional and sub-conventional security threats?

These include according to the foreign secretary: narcotics, smuggling, and irresponsible fishing that damages food security, transnational crime syndicates engaged in human trafficking, maritime accidents that lead to pollution. Last but not the least, natural disasters which have a huge impact on the coastal economic and population centres.

Terrorists use the oceans to infiltrate and they threaten offshore and coastal assets. They work together with transnational criminals. And, these alliances not only escalate instability but violence levels are heightened too.

According to him another set of challenges arise from geopolitical volatilities. Alluding to the growing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, the foreign secretary said, “Due to a lack of commitment to settled international law, has led to an increased militarisation of the region. And, Militarisation always adds to complexities.”

IOR & Indo-Pacific

All the countries in the IOR are part of the greater Indo-Pacific — this is a contemporary geopolitical and geo-economic reality.

Also, “The business prowess of Asian companies and growing Asian technological abilities are driving the international economic center of gravity to the East.

Who all attended?

Naval Chiefs and other representatives from Madagascar, Maldives, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Also, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Maritime Theatre Command by next year: Navy Chief
2The Indian Navy- A capability based blue water force
3India Navy needs more new technologies to meet emerging challenges in Indo-Pacific