Admiral RK Dhowan, the Chief of the Naval Staff is on an official visit to Bangladesh from 10 to 14 Jan 16 to attend the 5th Edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). During the Symposium, Indian Navy would be presenting a guideline document on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR). The aim of the document is to provide guidelines for developing a speedy, responsive, coordinated and effective HADR for IONS members, as and when required. During the visit, the CNS would also be calling on political and military counterparts from Bangladesh and IONS members/observers to further cement bilateral relations.
IONS was launched in Feb 08 to captilise upon regional strengths of IOR littorals and was 21st Century‘s first significant international maritime-security initiative. 35 littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) have been grouped into four sub-regions (South Asian, West Asian, East African and South East Asian littorals including Australia). IONS seeks to provide a regional forum through which the Chiefs-of-Navy (or equivalent maritime agency) of all the littoral states of the IOR periodically meet to constructively engage each other through the creation and promotion of regionally relevant mechanisms, events, and activities. IONS Chairmanship is rotated sequentially through each of the four sub-regions. This is to ensure that challenges of each region receive due emphasis. The IONS Chair was held by India from 2008 to 2010, UAE from 2010 to 2012 and South Africa from 2012 to 2014. The current Chair is Australia. Bangladesh Navy is conducting the IONS-2016 from 10-14 Jan 2016 at Dhaka and would be taking over the Chair of IONS from Australia for the term 2016 -2018. The theme of the Seminar this year is ‘Fostering Partnership in IOR: Charting course for Maritime Cooperative Engagement’.