On December 7, 2023, the National Security Adviser of India, Ajit Doval participated in the 6th NSA level meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave held in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius to give push to steps for stabilizing the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
6th NSA Meeting
The 6th NSA-level meeting was hosted by Mauritius. The National Security Advisers of Member countries participated along with several delegates from Bangladesh and Seychelles. The member states reviewed the progress of the decisions taken at the 5th NSA-level meeting and agreed on a Roadmap of Activities for the year 2024.
The member states reiterated the role and responsibility of the CSC in ensuring, the security, strategy, and stability of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) from traditional and non-traditional and emerging hybrid challenges. Over the past year, Members and Observers states have covered, many activities like marine pollution, maritime law, coastal security, oceanography, hydrography countering terrorism finance, investigations of terrorism, narcotics trafficking, cyber-crime, and cyber-security.
Pillars of the Enclave
Cooperation against the CSC focuses on five pillars namely, maritime security and safety, countering terrorism and radicalization, combat trafficking and translational organized crime, cybersecurity, and protection of critical infrastructure, and humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, Bangladesh and Seychelles have been joining the meetings of the erstwhile Trilateral Maritime Cooperation as well as Colombo Security Conclave as Observer States.
Under the Maritime and Security Pillar, the first oceanographic and hydrographic conference was held in November 2022 in Goa and Hyderabad. Senior Scientists from members and observer states agreed on a substantial list of deliverables including the establishment of institutional linkages between oceanography and hydrographic institutions, joint expeditions, maritime research, collaboration in environmental impact, maritime incidents and sharing of oceanographic information.
As a follow-up to the conferences, a CSC Ocean Information Services Portal was launched at the 6th NSA conference is scheduled to be held in early 2024. Another regular activity under this pillar is the CSC (Coastal Security Conference), the first one was held in December 2022 in Chennai.
It brought together heads of Coast Guards and other senior leadership from members and observers to discuss threats through continuous sharing of information and engagements. The next CSC will be scheduled and be held in the last quarter of 2024.
As a part of the training and capacity-building activities of the CSC, police officers, counter-terrorism experts, drug law enforcement officers, and cyber security experts have been engaged in specific priority areas. Similarly, JWG (Joint Working Groups) on Combating Trafficking and Transnational Organised Crime and HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) have also been conceptualized and are under discussion between several member states.
What is the Colombo Security Enclave?
The Colombo Security Conclave was established in the year 2020 when India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives agreed to expand the scope and membership of their Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Cooperation. Mauritius joined the conclave at the 5th NSA level meeting of the conclave on March 9, 2023, till 10th March 2023 held in Male, the capital of Maldives.
In addition to the NSA level meeting, the Colombo Security Conclave also meets at the deputy NSA level meeting to oversee the implementations of the decisions and directions from the NSA level meeting. The next edition of the NSA-level meetings will be held in India in 2024. During his visit to Mauritius, Ajit Doval also called on Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius.