’Maritime security assumes ever-greater significance’

ISLAMABAD: “Maritime security has assumed ever-greater significance in the face of changing global scenario and the activities of non-state actors, transnational threats and challenges, such as piracy and terrorism, illegal exploitation of natural resources, marine environment and pollution, unlawful trade and less than adequate preparedness to meet natural disasters are some of the key issues, which require thorough deliberations at such international forums”, this was stated by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Rashid Mehmood who graced the concluding session of 6th International Maritime Conference as chief guest. Upon his arrival, the chief guest was received by Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah, Chief of the Naval Staff alongwith Vice Admiral(Retd) Asaf Humayun, DG NCMPR.

The conference organized by National Centre for Maritime Policy Research (NCPMR) in collaboration of Pakistan Navy on the theme; “Maritime Economy, Environment, and Security co-operation: Bringing the West Pacific and the Indian Ocean Closer”, concluded today after 3 days of threadbare discussions by the experts on Maritime Security, Economy and Environment. Seventeen speakers from 8 countries exchanged ideas for bringing the maritime region of the Indian Ocean and West Pacific closer. Scholars from Pakistan and around the world while evaluating and expressing modalities created an ideal opportunity for dialogue.

While addressing the audience the chief guest said that the challenges in dealing with the evolving environment in the Indo-Pacific region have increased because of the dynamic socio-political conditions and economic potential of the region. In this scenario, the mitigation of maritime risks and vulnerabilities require coordinated efforts. The littoral states of the region therefore need to focus on collaborative maritime security with a spirit of cooperation rather than competition. Particularly, the build up of military capability, deployment of navies, and exploitation of resources should not lead to increase in regional tensions.

He further added that conferences like these and the forums like Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) as well as Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) provides a good platform to the regional counties to sit together and deliberate on many contentious issues, thereby reducing tensions and bringing nations together.

Later, the chief guest gave away prizes to the students who won the essay and poster competitions held during the conference. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah and Director General NCMPR Vice Admiral (R) Asaf Humayun commended creativity and hard work of the students.

NCMPR has the credit of hosting six International Maritime Conferences since its inception. It provides a seat of excellence for maritime policy research and a ‘think-tank’ for multi-disciplinary studies and analysis of maritime affairs to address challenges in the maritime domain.

A large number of speakers, delegates, intellects, maritime scholars and observers from across the globe attended the conference besides large number of naval personnel.

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