Gurugram, India takes centre stage as the regional maritime security community gathers for the Maritime Information Sharing Workshop 2023 (MISW 23). The workshop, hosted by the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), brings together 31 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Djibouti Code of Conduct/ Jeddah Amendment (DCoC/JA), from September 14th to 16th, 2023.
Navigating the Ocean's Vital Role: - Oceans are the lifeblood of humanity and maritime trade is the cornerstone of global commerce. The significance of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) extends far beyond its geographical boundaries; it serves as a hub of economic activities, a bridge between continents, and a stage for geopolitical dynamics. Maritime security is not just crucial for economic stability but also for geopolitical equilibrium. Contemporary challenges maritime safety and security necessitate unified commitment, collaborative strategies, and seamless information exchange among global and regional stakeholders. Recognising this critical need, the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), Gurugram, was inaugurated on December 22, 2018, with a mission to enhance maritime safety and security in the region. IFC-IOR, presently headed by Captain Rohit Bajpai is a unique Centre where International Liaison Officers (ILOs) from partner nations collaborate to counter challenges to maritime safety and security. Presently, ILOs from twelve countries viz., Australia, France, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, UK and USA are appointed to the Centre. IFC-IOR actively collaborates with 42 other maritime security constructs and another 25 partner countries towards ensuring a peaceful, stable and prosperous IOR.
Setting Sail with MISW
To further India’s vision of ‘Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR),’ IFC-IOR conducts a series of workshops and training programs, of which the Maritime Information Sharing Workshop (MISW) is the flagship event. The inaugural edition of MISW was conducted in 2019. The MISW is a dynamic platform for the exchange of best practices amongst working level professionals in the maritime security domain across the globe. It serves as a catalyst for building bridges of camaraderie, uniting professionals towards a shared and coordinated response to the multifaceted challenges posed by threats to maritime safety and security. Ranging from piracy and armed robbery at sea to smuggling contraband, irregular and illegal human migration as also other maritime incidents, these threats are today transnational in nature and impact global maritime commerce in a big way.
Charting the Course for MISW 23
MISW 23, scheduled from 14 – 16 Sep 2023, marks a significant stride in fostering engagement with partner nations and regional constructs. The workshop's theme, "Advancing Maritime Security for a Sustainable Future," encapsulates the shared vision of participating nations. This edition welcomes delegates from 31 countries and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and aims to bolster collaboration, cooperation and information sharing among partner countries for a safer, peaceful, and prosperous Indian Ocean Region. VAdm Sanjay Mahindru, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy, will inaugurate the event, setting the stage for three days of intense discussions and knowledge exchange. This edition of workshop has been planned exclusively for members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Djibouti Code of Conduct/ Jeddah Amendment (DCoC/JA) countries.
Exploring the Workshop's Depths
During the workshop, eminent speakers will engage participants in thematic training sessions on day one with topics including contemporary transnational maritime security challenges in the IOR, necessity of international cooperation and information sharing to address the prevailing maritime threat landscape, importance of technology and innovation in maritime security (MARSEC) and aligning national efforts towards a resilient Maritime Security Architecture. The second day will be dedicated to a scenario-based maritime security exercise that would highlight the value of collaboration and information sharing to participants and encourage preparation of contingency plans to counter maritime security and safety threats. On the third day, a dedicated workshop will be conducted exclusively for DCoC/JA countries towards refining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for their own Information Sharing Network (ISN).