NEW DELHI: IIndia regards the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific as a region of peace and prosperity and will strive to keep the seas, space and airways free and open and free from terrorism and piracy, Foreign Minister Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said on Wednesday. .
The post-pandemic world places greater importance on trust, technology, transparency, resilience and reliability, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has a vital role to play in this regard, Singh said in his opening address to the Indian Ocean Dialogue. .
Dialogue is the IORA Track 1.5 forum for discussions among stakeholders such as experts, government policy makers, think tanks and civil society groups on strategic issues of interest and concerns. facing the region. The theme of this year’s event, hosted by India, was âPost-Pandemic Indian Ocean: Harnessing Digital Technologies for Health, Education, Development and Trade in IORA Member States “.
Singh said that the Indian doctrine of âSecurity and Growth for All in the Regionâ or SAGAR envisions the Indian Ocean and the greater Indo-Pacific as a region of peace and prosperity, based on trust and transparency, respect for international maritime rules, equal access as a right under international law, sensitivity to individual interests, peaceful settlement of disputes and enhanced maritime cooperation.
âIndia will always strive to keep the seas, space and airways free and open; nations safe from terrorism and piracy; ensuring access to and responsible use of the global commons, a disruptive global cyberspace and fair, transparent and balanced trading systems; and improving connectivity for inclusive and sustainable national, regional and global economic growth, âhe said.
Singh noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a new urgency to reimagine international cooperation and accelerate the socio-economic changes the Indian Ocean region has witnessed. It has also disrupted supply chains, affected manufacturing and affected trade, leading to rethinking the approach to economic policies, he added.
India, he said, tries to foster meaningful multi-stakeholder partnerships, sharing of advanced and cost-effective technologies, collaboration in vaccine and pharmaceutical production, and transparency of health information.
âWe recognize that a different world awaits us. It is the one that places greater importance on trust, technology and transparency as well as resilience and reliability, âhe said. âIORA … has a vital role to play in this regard. For its part, India remains determined to share its experience and resources in a spirit of solidarity.
Singh also said countries need to quickly standardize travel through the recognition of vaccine certificates so that livelihoods are restored. India has developed solutions in this area with around 100 countries and wishes to extend them to the Indian Ocean region.
The Indian Ocean Rim region is crucial for global trade, energy and geopolitical stability. Half of the world’s container ships and two-thirds of the world’s oil shipments pass through the region, which is home to more than 2.7 billion people.
The Indian Ocean Dialogue focused on how IORA States have used digital technologies and platforms to overcome Covid-19 disruptions in health, education, development and trade.