External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar today stressed that instability increases when long-standing agreements are no longer observed. In his keynote address at the 7th Indian Ocean Conference in Perth, Australia this evening, Dr Jaishankar said, the challenges besetting the world are on full display at the Indian Ocean region. He said, these challenges include threats to maritime traffic, piracy, terrorism, challenges to international law, and freedom of navigation and overflights.
The External Affairs Minister pointed out that the theme of the Conference, ‘Towards a Stable and Sustainable Indian Ocean’, is laden with meaning in such turbulent times. He laid the stress on the greater consultation and cooperation among the states of the Indian Ocean. Dr Jaishankar pointed out that over-concentrations of manufacturing and technology are creating both supply-side risks, as well as the possibility of leveraging. He said, the need of the day is to disperse production across more geographies and build reliable and resilient supply-chains.
The Minister said, since 2014, India has joined or initiated 36 plurilateral groups in different domains. He said many of them have a direct relevance to the future of the Indian Ocean and others have a domain relevance that contribute to the well-being and security of the maritime spaces and its littoral territories.
Dr Jaishankar highlighted the need for lateral land-based connectivity across the Indian Ocean region. He stressed the significance of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) to India’s West and the Trilateral Highway to India’s East. He said, these can be veritable changers connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic.