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Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar Addresses 7th Indian Ocean Conference in Perth

Dr. S. Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister of India, took the center stage at the inaugural session of the 7th Indian Ocean Conference held in Perth, Australia on 9th February, 2024. The prestigious event, organized annually by the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with the India Foundation, serves as a crucial platform for countries in the Indian Ocean Region to convene and deliberate on pressing issues.

Themed “Towards a Stable and Sustainable Indian Ocean,” this year’s conference marks a significant partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, and the Perth-US Asia Centre in Australia. Among the dignitaries present at the opening session were the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, and Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan. The participation of such high-profile figures underscores the importance and relevance of the discussions at the conference.

The event has drawn delegations led by ministers from over 22 countries and senior officials from 16 countries and 6 multilateral organizations. Additionally, it has seen the participation of more than 400 leaders from the social and corporate sectors, policy experts, scholars, professionals, and media personnel from approximately 40 countries. The Indian Ocean Conference, since its inception in 2016, has been instrumental in fostering regional cooperation and dialogue among maritime partners. It aims to address common challenges and explore opportunities for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).

In his address, Dr. Jaishankar emphasized the need for collective efforts to ensure stability and sustainability in the Indian Ocean region. He highlighted India’s commitment to strengthening partnerships with neighbouring countries to address shared challenges effectively. The conference provides a platform for participants to exchange views on a wide range of issues, including maritime security, trade, climate change, and sustainable development. The discussions aim to generate actionable strategies and promote cooperation for the collective benefit of all stakeholders in the region.

The Indian Ocean Conference continues to be a vital forum for fostering dialogue, building partnerships, and advancing shared interests among Indian Ocean rim countries. As the conference progresses over the next two days, participants are expected to engage in robust discussions and chart a course for a secure and prosperous future in the Indian Ocean region.