Pathfinder Foundation is set to host the third phase of its Indian Ocean Security Conference, a pivotal event to foster dialogue and cooperation among regional nations. Co-sponsored by the U.S. and Japanese Embassies, this two-day hybrid event taking place on February 28 and Feb 29 will feature a mix of in-person and virtual participation, with key speakers and attendees from around the globe.

The lineup of speakers will include Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has championed the outsized importance of the Indian Ocean and its littoral states, underscoring the region’s impact on global security and supply chain resilience, along with U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung and Japanese Deputy Assistant Minister for Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs Hayashi Makoto. The distinguished speakers will be joined by other heads of diplomatic missions, regional experts, and think tank leaders to provide insights into the complex topics that will be taken up for discussion at the conference. The Pathfinder Foundation, in consultation with its International Advisory Group, has curated a program to stimulate discussions and propose actionable recommendations.

Under the co-chairmanship of Ambassador (Retd.) Bernard Goonetilleke and Ambassador (Retd.) Shivshankar Menon, former Indian Foreign Secretary and National Security Advisor, the conference will explore critical themes affecting the Indian Ocean community, including the Indo-Pacific strategy and its regional implications, recognition of the importance of underwater domain awareness within security and economic dimensions, the pressing problems of climate change, maritime disaster management, and promoting a blue-green economy.

The conference is designed as a Track 1.5 initiative, inviting the participation of government representatives, think tanks, and academic institutions from the Indian Ocean region and beyond, bridging the gap between policy and research. This event underscores the Pathfinder Foundation’s commitment to enhancing regional security and economic cooperation through informed dialogue and mutual understanding.

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