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6th Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka: Bangladesh, India committed to an ‘open, inclusive, rules based’ IOR

The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is no longer an idea based on “power equations”, but rather a natural construct based on principles of “inclusivity, comradery, and multi-stakeholderism,” says a document related to the 6th Indian Ocean Conference being held in Dhaka on May 12, 13.

As two responsible states, Bangladesh and India are committed to ensure the rise of a “free, open, inclusive and rules based” IOR, according to the concept note of the conference.

The global order is rapidly evolving, power axis is shifting, and the complacency of the past is making way for greater confidence in future, the document reads.

The IOR has emerged as a microcosm of partnerships, collaborations, bilateral and multilateral dependence.

Also read: Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka on May 12-13: Myanmar not invited

Mauritius President Prithvirajsing Roopun, minister- and state minister-level delegations from 25 countries including Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will attend the conference.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the conference at a Dhaka hotel on May 12. The Prime Minister will also host a dinner in honour of the guests.

The 6th edition of the conference is being organised by India Foundation in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh.

Home to the most promising economies, the most populous lands, and the most vulnerable islands, the Indian Ocean Region is a testimony to the multifaceted challenges impacting governance in the 21st century.

Read More: Bangladesh urges Indian Ocean nations to work together to promote blue economy

With a vast reserve of natural resources and supply chain trade routes, the IOR has become an integral part of global strategic thinking.

From Europe to America and Japan to South Korea, all major powers have aligned their global strategic outreach in line with the vision of developing a Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region (FOIP).

With a vision towards mutual growth, prosperity and strengthening of the international community, the 6th IOC will bring together stakeholder nations to discuss and deliberate on the theme of “Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership” for a resilient future.

In light of recent developments, the global community appreciates the expansion of resilience to go beyond economic strength and military might to include in its ambit the challenges posed by rapid climatic deterioration, and the exponential rise of disruptive technologies.

Read More: Ocean health needs proper regional, global attention: Dhaka


While the expanse of the IOR makes it a region of infinite potential, it is the same expanse that can lead to damages of unfathomable scale. The region today is faced with not just traditional challenges of security but also non-traditional challenges of biohazards, cyberwarfare, and maritime piracy. The after-effects of such a disruption are unimaginable.

Thus, maintaining peace in the region is of paramount importance to ensure the rise of a resilient future. Rise of a peaceful IOR on the principles of a rules-based order will chart a new agenda for prosperity and greater partnership in the region and beyond.


The IOR is pegged to rise as the most economically prosperous region of the century. It has the economies of scale, mass consumer market, and technical prowess to lead the world into an era of global affluence based on the ethos of sustainable development.

The region is home to 3 of the 5 fastest growing economies of the world, 64% of the global population, and 60% of the global GDP while also accounting for 40% of the world’s oil supply and 64% of oil trade.

Read More: President of Mauritius in Dhaka to attend 6th Indian Ocean Conference, bilateral programmes

As two stakeholder nations of the region, both India and Bangladesh have been traditional advocates of responsible growth and development while living in harmony with nature.

Pushing forth the ethos of a lifestyle based on sustainable development, taking climate conscious decisions ranks high on the prosperity agenda of the IOR.


One lesson that the pandemic taught the world is the importance of collaborative approach to working. Partnerships in the IOR will thus be more forward looking and constructive in their scope.

With greater innovation, ample opportunities are opening up for countries to collaborate in multiple formats on carbon planning and green financing, navigating technological hegemony, the development of the blue economy, the rise of alternate forms of financing, and collaboration on public healthcare and education.

Read More: Maritime cooperation in Indian Ocean increasingly important in current geopolitical landscape: Discussants

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh’s partnership with countries in the Indian Ocean will become stronger through hosting the IOC.

External Affairs Minister of India Dr S. Jaishankar will deliver the keynote address of the evening alongside special addresses by the US Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, and Vice President of Maldives Faisal Naseem.

The inaugural session will also be graced by the presence of Foreign Minister Dr Momen and Foreign Minister of Oman Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi.

The Foreign Minister of Singapore Dr Vivian Balakrishnan will be represented by Dr Maliki Osman, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

Official delegations led by heads of states/governments, deputy heads, cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and senior officials from 27 countries and multilateral organisations will address the conference on May 13.

Read More: PM to inaugurate Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka May 12

The Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) was started in 2016 and in the last six years it has emerged as the “flagship consultative forum” for countries in the region on regional affairs.

The conference endeavours to bring critical states and principal maritime partners of the region together on a common platform to deliberate upon the prospects of regional cooperation for Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).

The first edition of the Indian Ocean Conference was held in Singapore in 2016.

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