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.
From India, Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy, participated in the inaugural session of the three-day event virtually.
During the Symposium, Subject Matter Expert (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 held panel discussions themed on the three IONS working Groups viz., HADR, Maritime Security and Information Sharing & Interoperability.
‘IONS’ was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008, seeks to enhance maritime cooperation among Navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region (IOR).
Chairmanship of IONS:
So far, Chairmanship of IONS:
India (2008-10), UAE (2010-12), South Africa (2012-14), Australia (2014-16), Bangladesh (2016-18), and Islamic Republic of Iran (2018-21)
Now, France has assumed the Chairmanship on 29 June 2021 for a two-year tenure.
Members and Observer Nations:
Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) includes 24 nations that permanently hold territory that abuts or lies within the Indian Ocean, and 8 observer nations:
Permanent members are geographically grouped into four sub-regions:
- South Asian Littorals: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom (British Indian Ocean Territory)
- West Asian Littorals: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
- East African Littorals: France (Reunion), Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania
- South East Asian and Australian Littorals: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste
China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain