Panaji: November 02, 2017 … One can claim with considerable assertion that the future of the world will be shaped to a large extent by the political and economic interactions between stakeholders in the region of the Indian Ocean stated Union Raksha Mantri, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman after inaugurating the two-day Goa Maritime Conclave at the Naval War College, at INS Mandovi, Verem today. She spoke of how the Indian Ocean has gained centre stage largely due to the potential impact on its regional dynamics on the international geo politics.
Speaking about the Conclave, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman said that the aim of it was to bring together like-minded countries to evolve and formulate collective responses to emerging challenges in the maritime domain. She also said that the Conclave provides an opportunity to communicate viewpoints in a forthright manner and collectively shape a favourable maritime environment for countries.
She however, said that opaqueness in strategic intent and incoherent behaviour of certain countries acts as impediments to creating a favourable maritime environment.
She spoke of the Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR
(Security and Growth for All in the Region) and initiative of Sagarmala- which is about establishing new ports and modernising old ports.
She highlighted significant trends in maritime security and spoke of the increased militarisation and increase in warships operating in the Indian Ocean region and of extra regional nations maintaining a near permanent presence within the region on one pretext or the other which increases the complexities related to maritime security.
She also spoke of the increase in the vulnerability of coastal population to natural disasters.
Earlier, Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff, said that the Conclave is envisioned to be an initiative to establish regional maritime forum among like-minded countries.
Explaining the significance of the logo for the Conclave, Sunil Lanba said that the Lighthouse symbolised the host venue-Goa and Goa’s rich maritime heritage while the handshake represented regional maritime cooperation and the blue background was a reminder of the Indian Ocean and navies who have maintained good order at sea.
He spoke of the non-traditional threats and emerging menaces at sea and elucidated on the benefits of nurturing resilient maritime architecture for maritime security. He underscored the importance of information sharing mechanism between the navies of different countries.
The Naval War College Journal was released on the occasion. The central theme of the Conclave is “Addressing Regional Maritime Challenges”. After the inauguration, a seminar was held which was followed by a question and answer session.