New Delhi, July 1
The 7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a biennial event, was hosted by the French Navy at La Réunion from 28 June to 01 July 2021. Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy, participated virtually in the inaugural session of the event and provided his congratulatory remarks to the Outgoing and Incoming Chairmen.
IONS, conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008, seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among Navies of the littoral states of the IOR by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to common understanding on the way ahead. The chairmanship of IONS has been held by India (2008-10), UAE (2010-12), South Africa (2012-14), Australia (2014-16), Bangladesh (2016-18) and Islamic Republic of Iran (2018-21). France has assumed the Chairmanship on 29 Jun 21 for a two-year tenure.
During the Symposium, SME presentations were made by French Institute of International Relations - Observatoire du Climat, European Union, Indian Ocean Commission, IFC Singapore, RMIFC Madagascar and EU led Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO). The Symposium also held panel discussions themed on the three IONS working Groups viz., HADR, Maritime Security and Information Sharing & Interoperability. The Naval Maritime Foundation (NMF) also participated in the Panel Discussion on HADR.
IONS Conclave of Chiefs (CoC) is the decision-making body at the level of Chiefs of Navies, which meets biennially. 6th IONS and CoC was conducted by Iran Navy in April 2018 at Tehran. Owing to the pandemic, the CoC 2021, will be hosted by French Navy later this year.