The 4th Indian Ocean Conference – IOC 2019 was organised by India Foundation in association with the Government of Maldives and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore on 03-04 September 2019 in Maldives. The theme of IOC 2019 was “Securing the Indian Ocean Region: Traditional and Non-Traditional Challenges”.
The traditional and non-traditional security challenges facing the Indian Ocean Region remain unabated. Geopolitics and Trade continue to be contentious and the spectre of terrorism looms large over several countries of the region. Issues such as rising sea water levels, hazardous levels of pollution of the seas leading to depletion of marine livestock, and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing elude consensus in international deliberation. Many of these challenges pose serious and immediate problems for the region. These challenges require concerted and sustained partnership efforts across the region and beyond.
Discussions at the 4th IOC were focused on developing effective regional institutional mechanisms for implementation of prevailing norms and rules. In continuation with the past, this edition of the Conference too provided an opportunity for stakeholders of the Indian Ocean Region to deliberate on building an institutional framework for managing the threats to regional peace and human security through the strengthening of multilateral cooperation based on mutual respect, equality and international law.
The three broad themes of the conference were:
MARINE ECOLOGY: Climate Change, Global Warming and consequent Rise of Sea Levels, Pollution, Sustainable harnessing of Oceanic Resources
TERRORISM: Rising Spectre of Terrorism in Indian Ocean Region, Marine Terrorism
NAVIGATIONAL SECURITY: Freedom of Navigation, UNCLOS and its effective implementation, Natural and Man-made hazards to Navigation, Piracy