Why in News?                                                                                                        

The 8 edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs (CoC) was conducted by Royal Thai Navy at Bangkok, Thailand from 19 – 22 Dec 23. Chiefs of Navies/ Senior Delegates from 27 Members/ Observer countries participated in the event. Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, attended the event with a three member Indian Naval delegation.

What is Indian Ocean Smposium?

  • IONS was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008 as a forum which seeks to enhance maritime co-operation among Navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region.
  • IONS provides an open and inclusive platform for discussions on regionally relevant maritime issues that would lead to common understanding on the way ahead.
  • The inaugural edition of IONS was held in Feb 2008 at New Delhi, with Indian Navy as the Chair for two years (2008 – 2010).
  • The 8th Conclave is being attended by Chiefs of Navies/ Heads of Maritime Agencies of IONS countries and would witness transfer of IONS Chairmanship from France to Thailand.
  • India would take over the Chair of IONS (2025-27) during the 9th CoC planned to be conducted in India in end 2025.
  • As a first, Flag designed by India was selected as the IONS Flag.
  • India also took over as the co-Chair of IONS Working Groups on Maritime Security and HADR for the forthcoming cycle.
  • Republic of Korea Navy was welcomed by the Conclave as the latest ‘Observer’, raising the collective strength of IONS to 34 (25 Members & 09 Observers).