The Indian Ocean Region (IOR), spanning in excess of seven million square kilometres of water-expanse, home to twenty sovereign entities, reposing significant endowments of strategic natural resources, inhabiting a verdant constellation of tremendous ecological and human diversity, and dovetailing resplendent cultural and civilizational traditions, is arguably a pivotal harbinger to regional and global peace, stability and welfare, but equally, a potential lodestar, offering a new template for maritime concert, cooperation and management, and societally-beneficent harness, of the vast blue economy.
A combination of hard geographical attributes and plausible strategic geopolitical impulses, ordains India, a peninsular country, with in excess of seven thousand kilometres of a coastline, with over one thousand three hundred island formations under its sovereign jurisdiction, a progressively modernizing blue water navy and an innately democratic, culturally diverse and civilizational edifying demographic space, to be primed into the role of pan-regional leadership, as a veritable anchor for strategic stability, a genuine hub, radiating socio-economic transformation and spearheading the endeavour for benign management, of the copious maritime domain.
Under the inspirational and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has undertaken to purposefully renew its compact with the Indian Ocean Region, going beyond perfunctory doctrines and staid dimensions of sea-denial and sea-control, to embrace the progressive idea of sea-harness, that perceives the commodious oceans as integral domains of shared security, shared prosperity and shared development.
However, given that chaperoning the maritime expanse of the IOR cannot conceivably be the exclusive preserve or singular wherewithal of an individual national power, efficacious accomplishment of widely acclaimed objectives entails cogent, robust and cohesive strategic and operational collaboration between the sovereign entities that have stakes in the IOR.
Through his call for an early Blue Revolution and his purposeful visits to IOR countries, Prime Minister Modi has manifested New Delhi’s credible commitment, to work with sovereign peers, in a spirit of collaboration, partnership and concert, to reap the fullest potential of the maritime space.
The Conference’s envisioned outreach will be to the diplomatic core, industry and entrepreneurs, the media, the student community, as also to the fraternity of religious, spiritual and civilizational thought-leaders, bringing in refreshing perspectives on the syncretic strengths of religions, cultures and civilizational antecedence, weaving mutual affinities between India and the IOR community.