Colombo Indian Ocean Conference this week | Sunday Observer

Colombo Indian Ocean Conference this week

Sri Lanka will convene ‘Indian Ocean:Defining Our Future Conference of 2018,’ a two-day symposium aimed at promoting peace, stability and economic cooperation among the key stake holders of the Indian Ocean region.

Announcing the upcoming event on October 11-12 at Temple Trees, Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam said, “Today 90% of the world population live by the sea, the ocean based economy is huge, and Sri Lanka has a golden opportunity to reap its benefits.” He was addressing media at the Government Information Department.

 The Foreign Secretary said since the land resources are diminishing and the ocean resources have to be managed properly, strategic aspirations of countries could come into conflict. “Hence, it is important have discussions with littoral countries and major maritime users to keep the particular region stable and secure,” he said. Kariyawasam said the stake holders of the conference were very broad adding that experts, key maritime users and the world super powers including India, US and China as well as South Africa will be represented at the conference.

The conference, an initiative of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe will ‘explore the region’s strongest challenges and opportunities.

State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Prof. Harsha de Silva said Sri lanka’s geographical location, in the centre of Indian Ocean, and our long history of peaceful engagement with the international community makes it an ideal convenor of such a conference.

The inaugural address of the event will be delivered by President Maithripala Sirisena while Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe will make the key note address. The UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson will address the Plenary at the inaugural.