The third edition of Goa Maritime Conclave, conducted from 7 to 9 November 2021 at Goa, brought together the Naval Chief’s of Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The theme for GMC-21, ‘Maritime Security and Emerging Non-Traditional Threats: A Case for Proactive Role for IOR Navies’, was derived keeping in mind the necessity of ‘winning everyday peace’ in the maritime domain.
Delivering the Conclave Address, Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar highlighted GMC’s symbolism of India’s constructive engagement in the IOR and that the Maritime Security and Economic prosperity are inter-related and inter-dependent since time immemorial. He also stressed on the role played by constructive engagements such as IONS, IORA, BIMSTEC, Colombo Security Conclave towards promoting pluralistic cooperation for maritime security.
Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla during his keynote address reiterated maritime transport and logistics as major components of Blue Economy and its significance to IOR littorals. He laid emphasis on institutional dialogues between maritime security agencies, towards building relationships and processes that contribute to improvement of security related outcomes.
The various panel discussions saw enriching contribution from eminent scholars, subject matter experts and veteran naval officers wherein relevant insights, thought provoking ideas and possible solutions were put forth on the GMC-21 theme. A ‘Make in India’ Defence and Shipyard Pavilion was also inaugurated by the Chief of the Naval Staff, wherein DPSUs/ private shipyards viz M/s MDL, GSL, L&T and Chowgule Global, Goa, showcased their shipbuilding capabilities.
The visiting delegations were also provided with a first-hand demonstration of Indian Navy’s Deep Submergence and Rescue Vessel (DSRV) capabilities towards promoting a submarine rescue mechanism for IOR, along with a tour onboard Guided Missile Destroyer INS Kochi, to showcase India’s indigenous shipbuilding prowess.
In his closing remarks, Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff brought out that GMC should move beyond dialogue and focus on cogent outcomes. He proposed four guiding principles for future editions, viz., iterative, and incremental gains, harnessing complementarities, synchronisation, and focussed operations, and lastly up-skilling and up-scaling existing capabilities.
The Conclave also saw declaration of ‘Common Maritime Priorities’, which had been identified during the Goa Maritime Symposium 21, earlier this year.
“With the culmination GMC 21, all nations agreed to endeavour, to work together on the deliverables and take forward further constructive activities in the future editions,” a press statement from the Navy noted.