Media Delegation from Small Island Developing States Discuss Indian Ocean Security and Climate Change

July 23, 2014

New Delhi: Facilitated by the Ministry of External Affairs, a media delegation from Small Island Developing States visited the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) on July 23, 2014 for an interaction. The delegation comprised 15 journalists from Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Fiji, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Cyprus. During the deliberations, the evolution of security issues in India and the major challenges facing India’s security environment were discussed. Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director-General (IDSA), stated that India’s history and politics have shaped India’s security policy over the years. The main considerations that govern India’s security policy are cross-border terrorism, relation with China and Pakistan, presence of nuclear weapons in the region and India’s geostrategic location in the Indian Ocean. The delegates were interested in knowing the role of India as mediator in regional conflicts and the dynamics of India-China relations. The delegates showed eagerness in learning about mechanisms of India’s internal security and intelligence-sharing. Small Island nations shared domestic concerns like rising crime rates, increase in drug trafficking and deteriorating civil-military relations in their countries

The journalists were interested in discussing the issues of security in Indian Ocean and climate change. In the deliberations, questions were raised on the issue of piracy. Ms. Ruchita Beri, who specializes on issues of Africa and Indian Ocean region, emphasized that piracy has gone down in the Indian Ocean region but apart from strong maritime measures, there is a need to address the root causes of piracy. Dr. Uttam Kumar Sinha, specialists on the issue of climate change at IDSA, stated that climate change is an important issue for Small Island Developing Countries. In the wake of 21st Conference of Parties on climate change by United Nations in 2015, he emphasized the need of bringing in a format that helps the Small Island nations raise their concerns on climate change. He also asked the way in which India and Small Island nations can shape international system on climate change.