Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar on Wednesday emphasized the need for a confluence of the Indian and Pacific Oceans due to the changes in the contemporary world both in geo-political and economic terms.
Speaking at the fourth edition of the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue (IPRD) 2022, Admiral R Hari Kumar said, “Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) offers equal opportunities to all stakeholders and respects their sovereignty and freedom of choice.”
“IPOI represents broadest framework conceptualised in Indo-Pacific guided by India’s vision of it as a free, inclusive, peaceful & prosperous region & reflects India’s civilisational ethos of mutual respect, pluralism, co-existence & dialogue,” he added, according to the news agency ANI.
IPOI is an apex-level international annual conference of the Indian Navy held from November 23 to 25.
The Navy chief said there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome including imperatives at home, influences from abroad, and intrusive paradigms. “Imperatives at home not just for India but all include promoting mutual growth & prosperity through inclusive & innovative approach, preserving safe&secure environment across (Indian Ocean) region & protecting against forces that are trying to destabilise the region,” the Navy chief added.
The theme of IPRD-2022 is “Operationalising the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI)”, which was articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bangkok on November 4, 2019, the defence ministry said in a statement.
It is a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue for regional cooperation focused on seven interconnected spokes or pillars — maritime security, maritime ecology, maritime resources, disaster risk-reduction and management, trade connectivity and maritime transport, capacity building and resource sharing, and science, technology and academic cooperation.
The Navy is deeply invested in the actualisation of each of the seven spokes or pillars of the IPOI. IPRD-2022 is appropriately centered upon the IPOI and its operationalisation, with a particular but not exclusive focus on the pillars of “maritime security”, the statement said.
The initiative will be conducted in the physical format, through six professional sessions spread over three days.
Globally renowned speakers and eminent panelists will explore how the areas of maritime cooperation envisaged in the IPOI could be optimally and inclusively operationalised, the statement added.