On October 11, 2018, “The Indian Ocean: Defining our Future” Conference was held for 2 days till October 12, 2018 held at Temple Trees, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
It is aimed to explore strongest challenges in the Indian Ocean region.
- It was organized by the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in collaboration with the Global Maritime Crime Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
- The inaugural address of the Conference was delivered by President Maithripala Sirisena while Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe delivered the keynote address.
iii. Also, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson addressed the inaugural session.
- Discussions were focused on four thematic areas, namely:
- The Indian Ocean Economy: The New Global Growth Pole;
- Life below Water: Reframing the Oceans as Development Spaces;
- An End to Uncertainty: Safety and Security at Sea; and
- Reinforcing International Law in the Indian Ocean: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and Emerging Issues.
- This would lead toa multilateral diplomatic Conference to be held early 2019 in Sri Lanka to work on the conference that would contribute towards greater peace, security and prosperity in the Indian Ocean.
- India was represented by Indian Deputy National Security Advisor Pankaj Saran, in the Inaugural Panel titled “Navigating Challenges and Prospects in the Indian Ocean: Towards a Shared Understanding”.
This Conference is held at a time when the Indian Ocean has emerged as one of the world’s busiest and most critical trade corridors, carrying two thirds of global oil shipments and a third of bulk cargo and hosting the most critical Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs), directly impacting global trade and economy.
♦ Capital: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
♦ Currency: Sri Lankan rupee.