KOCHI: Representatives of the participating navies of the 32 Indian Ocean Naval Symposium member nations mooted the formation of a Common Military Command for the Indian Ocean Region to ensure maritime security and to curb piracy and illegal fishing. With the rise of the economy of India and China the India Ocean maritime activity will increase and steps should be taken to avoid maritime blindness. There is a need for information sharing to increase maritime security, said Rear Admiral Didire Malterre, joint commander of the French Naval Forces deployed in Indian Ocean.
Iran Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, Australian Navy Capability Head Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, Assistant Chief of Indonesian Navy Rear Admiral Didik Setiyono, Royal Thai Navy Senior Advisor Admiral Pakorn Wanich and Vice Admiral of Netherlands Navy Rob A Kramer shared the same view. In his opening remarks, Chief Of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba said that the rise in maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean region has had its impact worldwide, which shows how important these waters are to the nations and economies the world over. Though concerted efforts by the navies and maritime security agencies over the last couple of years have significantly reduced this threat, other challenges persist, he said.
“It will analyse all inputs pertaining to maritime security in IOR and pass on relevant information to the participating countries within an actionable time frame. This Centre will significantly enhance maritime security in the region,” he said. “The seas are too large for any one navy to secure single-handedly and our ability to work in coordination with other stakeholders would enhance the effectiveness of our individual efforts manifold,” he said.
He released a Special Postal Cover brought out by the Postal Department to mark the occasion. Fisheries Minister Mercykutty Amma, Post Master General, Northern Region Jithendra Gupta and Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi were present on the occasion.