Bhubaneswar:9/6/18; The maritime safety and sea-route security aspects have under sharp focus with the Ministry of External Affairs organizing the 3rd East Asia Summit Conference at Bhubaneswar on 8th,June,2018
East Asia Summit (EAS) is a unique Leaders led forum of eighteen countries comprising Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, USA and Vietnam formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity. This conference is an official level dialogue mechanism between India and member countries of EAS to discuss issues related to Maritime domain.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship inaugurated the conference today in the august presence of Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, Director, National Maritime Foundation, Mr. Anurag Bhushan, IFS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (ASEAN), Government of India, and Dr. Prabir De, Professor, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS).
Speaking at the Inaugural session, the Minister referred to Prime Minister Modi’s Speech delivered at the Shangri La Dialogue at Singapore on June 1 and the Delhi Declaration of ASEAN India Commemorative Summit held in New Delhi on February 25, where maritime security and safety were identified as important areas of cooperation between India and the region.
Highlighting the importance of oceans and ocean resources, the Minister spoke about the importance of oceans for trade and thus the necessity of ensuring safety of maritime sea-lanes and cooperation among countries to keep the oceans free for navigation and unimpeded commerce. The Minister alluded to the fact that India is the closest maritime neighbour of South East Asia and enjoyed ancient maritime and cultural links with the region. He recalled the festival of Bali Yatra, which was a voyage to Bali, Indonesia that was undertaken during the ancient days by merchants and seafarers from Odisha. The Minister also highlighted the potential that Odisha has to become the maritime gateway to the region by virtue of many important ports and waterways in the state. Referring to Prime Minister Modi’s vision of SAGAR, which is Security And Growth for All in the Region, the Minister hoped that the conference will help elicit coherent views among EAS member countries on cooperation in areas of maritime security, maritime safety and use of ocean resources to the benefit of all.
The conference was attended by 52 delegates from 16 countries. The delegates will be taken on a heritage tour to Dhauli and Konark on 9th June in order to give them an exposure to the heritage and cultural sites of the state.