Curtain-Raiser for 2nd Indian Ocean Conference and India -ASEAN Youth Summit

India Foundation hosted a Heads of Missions Dinner  for ambassadors of India in several countries as well as ambassadors of several countries to India as a curtain-raiser to two of its flagship events namely,  2nd Indian Ocean Conference-IOC 2017  and the First India-ASEAN Youth Summit.  The event was attended by the Union Minister of Railways and also Director, India Foundation Shri Suresh Prabhu. The Guest of Honour for the event was Shri M J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs and Director, India Foundation.  The event was a well attended and saw participation of about 50 ambassadors and dignitaries. These included Indian Ambassadors of USA, UK, France, Russia, Singapore, UAE, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and several other countries. Foreign missions heads of the IOC and ASEAN region also graced the occasion. The brochure for the Indian Ocean Conference and India-ASEAN Youth Summit were released by Shri M J Akbar and Shri Ram Madhav, National General Secretary, Bharatiya Janata Party and Director, India Foundation.

2nd Indian Ocean Conference- IOC 2017 is a flagship India Foundation event which aims to discuss issues related to the Indian Ocean Region. The theme of the conference this year is 'Peace, Progress & Prosperity'. Delegates from all the countries of the India Ocean Region and other concerned nations have been invited to present their views. The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest body of water which covers about one fifth of the world's total ocean area. The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) cuts across a vast span of territory that directly affects both the global economy and some 32 nations in the region. The countries in the IOR are for the most part developing and middle income countries, with varying levels of development, stability and security. The level of political stability, the quality of governance, demographic pressures, ethnic and sectarian tensions, and the pace of economic growth create a different mix of opportunity and risk in each state. The IOR is also one of the most complex regions in the world in human terms. It reposes significant endowments of strategic natural resources, tremendous ecological and human diversity, and resplendent cultural and civilisational traditions, making it arguably a pivotal harbinger to regional and global peace, progress and stability. Equally, it is a potential lodestar, offering a new template for maritime concert, cooperation and management, and societally-beneficent harness, of the vast blue economy. Economic development can pave the way for the countries in the IOR to eradicate poverty. Peace remains a vital condition for Progress and Economic Development, which in turn can lead to Prosperity for all in the region. This year the conference is being hosted in Colombo from 31st August – 2nd September, 2017. Shri Ranil Wickramasinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has consented to be the Chair of the Organizing Committee and Smt. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister, India has agreed to be the Vice-Chair of the Organizing Committee.

India-ASEAN Youth Summit 2017 will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership by building on the close cultural and civilizational links of India and its South East Asian neighbours. The theme of the summit is 'Shared Values, Common Destiny'. The Youth Summit is being hosted by India Foundation and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises of Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. While India’s civilizational links with the region are centuries old, renewed and revitalised engagement with the region has come with the “Act East Policy” of the Hon’ble PM of India Shri Narendra Modi. This enhanced engagement is a natural progression of the significant pivot to the region in form of the Look East Policy. Hon’ble PM at the 12th ASEAN India Summit and the 9th East Asia Summit held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in November, 2014, formally enunciated the Act East Policy. The addition of a robust economic vector to the Indo-ASEAN relationship has made it a stronger, more sustainable partnership. The Summit is scheduled to be held from 14th-19th August in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

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