THE CONTEXT: The 7th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a biennial event, was hosted by the French Navy at Reunion Island from 28 June to 01 July 2021
- 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.
- 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.
- The Symposium held panel discussions themed on the three IONS working Groups viz., HADR, Maritime Security and Information Sharing & Interoperability.
- IONS Conclave of Chiefs (CoC) is the decision-making body at the level of Chiefs of Navies, which meets biennially
- Owing to the pandemic, the CoC 2021, will be hosted by French Navy later this year.
- Reunion is an island in the Indian Ocean that is an overseas department and region of France. It is located approximately 550 km east of the island of Madagascar and 175 km southwest of the island of Mauritius.
- The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, commonly known as IONS, are a series of biennial meetings among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region. It provides a forum to increase maritime security cooperation, providing a forum for discussion of regional maritime issues and promote friendly relationships among the member nations.
- Launched in 2008, it is a voluntary initiative, consisting of 32 nations (36 now) , that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
- It is held biennially.
- It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
- It endeavors to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to a common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on the way ahead.
- These states are represented by the heads of their navies.
- Under the IONS charter of business adopted in 2014, the forum has working groups on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Information Security and Interoperability (IS&I) and maritime security (anti-piracy).