Naval delegates from 12 countries are meeting in India to discuss maritime security threats.
Naval delegates from 12 countries are meeting for six-day conference “Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)” (January 18 to 24, 2008) in Port Blair on the Andaman Islands to discuss maritime security threats. Among the participating states are India, Australia, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Brunei. While the discussion in general will include threats such as maritime terrorism, piracy, and drug trafficking – the main discussion will be on the security of the Malacca Straits.
Topics on the agenda are how to facilitate and increase the efficacy of joint patrols, regional initiatives to combat maritime terrorism, enhancing maritime domain awareness and increase maritime surveillance in the region. According to Air Marshal S. Radhakrishnan, commander in chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN):
The Asia Pacific region’s islands and peninsulas, wedged between the Pacific and Indian oceans, border major arteries of communication and commerce. The dangers include non-state trans-national crime in the form of piracy, gun and drug running and maritime terrorism, environmental degradation in terms of millions of tonnes of effluents and pollutants being pumped into the sea. Maritime security thus is at the forefront of our concerns – that no single country could effectively contain the threats by its singular actions.
“Milan 08″ is significant not only as it indicates the participant countries’ willingness to work with India to increase surveillance over the waters around the Andaman and the Malacca Straits but also as it is expected to give a push to India’s Look East Policy.