Indian Ocean Commission

Context

  • India is looking to post Navy Liaison Officers at the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre (RMIFC) of IOC in Madagascar and also at the European maritime surveillance initiative in the Strait of Hormuz.

About Indian Ocean Commission (IOC)

  • an intergovernmental organization that was created in 1982
  • composed of five African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (an overseas region of France), and Seychelles.
  • These five islands share geographic proximity, historical and demographic relationships, natural resources and common development issues.

About the Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)

  • The Navy set up the IFC-IOR in December 2018 within the premises of the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC)in Gurugram to track maritime movements in the region.
  • France became the first country to deploy a Liaison Officer at the IFC-IORfollowed by the U.S. and several other countries including Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom have announced their intention to post LOs.

India and IOC

  • India was accepted as an observer getting a seat at the table of the organization that handles maritime governance in the western Indian Ocean.
  • These island nations are increasingly important for India’s strategic outreach as part of its Indo-Pacific policy.
  • It lends depth to India’s SAGAR (security and growth for all in the region) policy unveiled by PM of India in 2015.
  • The move, India hopes, would lead to greater security cooperation with countries in East Africa.
  • The IOC has four observers — China, EU, Malta and International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF).

Pre-Facts

  • The Strait of Hormuz is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
  • The Gulf of Oman connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz borders Iran and Pakistan on the north, Oman on the south, and the United Arab Emirates on the west.

The Persian Gulf

  • a shallow marginal sea of the Indian Ocean
  • lies between the Arabian Peninsula and the southwestern Iran.
  • borderedon the north, northeast, and east by Iran;
  • on the southeast and south by part of Omanand the United Arab Emirates;
  • on the southwest and west by Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia;and on the northwest by Kuwaitand Iraq.