Vice President Faisal Naseem stated on Friday that preserving the Peace and security in the Indian Ocean region is a key foreign policy priority for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. He made these remarks in his address at the sixth Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) 2023. The conference is held from May 12-13, 2023, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The IOC 2023 is held under the theme "Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership for a Resilient Future." Reflecting on this theme, Vice President Naseem stated that a resilient and sustainable future is a choice that requires proactive measures that promote transformation. He added that managing risks and uncertainty involve adaptive management, learning, innovation, and leadership.
The Vice President stated that the administration of President Solih is mindful of the obstacles that threaten stable socioeconomic progress in the Indian Ocean. He noted that these obstacles include non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, human trafficking, irregular migration, drug smuggling, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and underscored that illegal exploitation of marine resources and the degradation of ocean health leave small, low-lying coastal settlements such as the Maldives particularly vulnerable to climate pressures.
Highlighting that the Indian Ocean Region is home to some of the world's fastest-growing civilisations and serves as a hub for trade with the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, Europe, and the Americas, the Vice President stressed that it is the responsibility of all nations to ensure the peace, economic prosperity, environmental protection, and international rules in the region. He called on the participants to build partnerships based on mutual respect and trust to resolve outstanding issues and promote prosperity, sustainability, and stability in the Indian Ocean region through a rules-based approach.