NEW DELHI: I.ndia sees the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific as a region of peace and prosperity and will work to keep the seas, space and airways free and open and safe from terrorism and piracy, Foreign Minister Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said on Wednesday.
The post-pandemic world places great value on trust, technology, transparency, resilience and reliability, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) plays a vital role in this, said Singh in his keynote address at the Indian Ocean Dialogue.
Dialog is IORA’s Track 1.5 forum for discussions between stakeholders such as experts, government policy makers, think tanks and civil society groups on strategic interests and concerns of the region. The theme of this year’s event, which was hosted by India, was “Post-pandemic Indian Ocean: Leveraging digital technologies for health, education, development and trade in IORA Member States”.
Singh said India’s “Security and Growth for All in the Region” or SAGAR Doctrine sees 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 and equal access as a right according to international law, sensitivity to the interests of the other, peaceful settlement of disputes and increased cooperation at sea.
“India will always work to keep the seas, space and airways clear and open; Nations protected from terrorism and piracy; Guaranteeing access to and responsible use of global commons, a trouble-free global cyberspace and fair, transparent and balanced trading systems; and improving connectivity for inclusive and sustainable national, regional and global economic growth, ”he said.
Singh noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has created a new urgency to rethink international cooperation and accelerated the socio-economic changes that the Indian Ocean region was experiencing. It has also disrupted supply chains, affecting production and trade, which has led to a rethinking of the economic policy approach, he added.
India tries to promote meaningful multi-stakeholder partnerships, the exchange of advanced and economical technologies, cooperation in vaccine and pharmaceutical production and transparency in health information.
“We realize that another world awaits us. It’s one that puts more emphasis on trust, technology and transparency, as well as resilience and reliability, ”he said. “IORA … plays a crucial role in this regard. For its part, India remains committed to sharing its experience and resources in a spirit of solidarity. ”
Singh also said countries must swiftly normalize travel by recognizing vaccination certificates in order for livelihoods to be restored. India has developed solutions in this area with around 100 nations and wants to expand them in the Indian Ocean region.
The Indian Ocean region is vital to global trade, energy and geopolitical stability. Half of the world’s container ships and two-thirds of the world’s oil deliveries pass through the region, which is home to more than 2.7 billion people.
Dialogue across the Indian Ocean focused on how IORA nations are using digital technology and platforms to overcome the disruptions from Covid-19 in health, education, development and trade.
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