About the Conference

The Indian Ocean: Defining Our Future’ conference hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Global Maritime Crimes Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI), will be held on 11-12 October 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This two-day conference will convene stakeholders from Indian Ocean littoral states as well as major maritime users of the Indian Ocean. Issues related to the maritime domain, including economic activity, environmental sustainability, safety and security and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) will be discussed.

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The Venue

Temple Trees - Prime Minister Residence
Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka
+94 112 575 317

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Conference Schedule

Day 01 full schedule

11 October, 2018

Opening Plenary

08.00 am
Registration

08:45 am
Guests to be Seated

09.00 am
National Anthem

09.05 am
Lighting of Traditional Oil Lamp

09.10 am
Introductory Remarks
Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director, LKI

09.15 am
Welcome Address
Hon. Tilak Marapana, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

09.20 am
Inaugural Address
H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

09.30 am
Keynote Speech
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

09.40 am
Address
Amb. Peter Thomson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean

Inaugural Panel - Navigating Challenges and Prospects in the Indian Ocean: Towards a Shared Understanding

The Indian Ocean has long played host to some of the world’s most important trade and communication corridors, and its littoral states are now rapidly emerging as new drivers of the global economy. However, the region also faces a number of challenges. This panel will bring together officials from major littoral states and users of the Indian Ocean to outline their shared vision for the future of the region.

09.55 am
Opening Remarks by Chair of the Panel
Hon. (Dr.) Harsha de Silva, State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Sri Lanka

10.05 am
Panel Discussion
Mr. Pankaj Saran, Deputy National Security Advisor, Government of India
Dr. Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director-General, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa, and Chair, Committee of Senior Officials of IORA
Amb. Alice G. Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, US Department of State
Mr. Yi Xianliang, Director-General, Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of China
Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka

11.05 am
Remarks
Mr. Alan Cole, Head, Global Maritime Crime Programme, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

11.10 am
Remarks
Prof. Sandeep Gopalan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Innovation, Deakin University, Australia
Mr. Athula Pathinayake, Executive Director, Centre on the Legal Profession, Deakin University, Australia

11.15 am
Break for Tea & Coffee

Round Table Session 1 – The Indian Ocean Economy: The New Global Growth Pole

The Indian Ocean economy has become a major driver of global growth over the past two decades and has the potential to become a dominant force in the world economy by 2025. But the diversity in the region’s economies requires the right policies to make the most of its potential. This session will seek to set out the priorities to ensure the Indian Ocean’s future as the new global growth pole.

11.40 am
Introductory Comments by Co-Chairs
Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director, LKI
Dr. Prabir De, Professor, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, India

11.50 am
Remarks by Speakers
Ms. Caroline Vinot, Head of South Asia Division, European External Action Service, European Union
Dr. Siswo Pramono, Head/Director General, Policy Analysis and Development Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia
Prof. Masahiro Kawai, Representative Director and Director-General, Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia, Japan and Professor Emeritus and Specially Appointed Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo, Japan
Prof. Suthiphand Chirathivat, Professor Emeritus, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

12.20 pm
Comments from Discussants and Participants

01.10 pm
Closing Remarks by Co-Chairs

01.20 pm
Lunch

Round Table Session 2 – Life below Water: Reframing the Oceans as Development Spaces

Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and are an essential base for human life. But a rapidly growing population and the resulting increase in pollution threatens the health of our oceans. This session will explore the opportunities to establish economically-viable polices at the regional level, which favour the sustainable and low-pollution development of the Indian Ocean.

02.40 pm
Introductory Comments by Co-Chairs
Prof. Mohan Munasinghe, Founder Chairman, Munasinghe Institute for Development
Dr. Erika Techera, Professor of Law, University of Western Australia

02.50 pm
Remarks by Speakers
Prof. Micheni Japhet Ntiba, Principal Secretary, State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya
Prof. Sandeep Gopalan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Innovation, Deakin University, Australia
Dr. Ananda Mallawatantri, Country Representative, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Sri Lanka
Dr. Karri Ramu, Scientist-E, National Centre for Coastal Research, India
Mr. George Cooke, Deputy Director, Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Sri Lanka

03.40 pm
Comments from Discussants and Participants

04.30 pm
Closing Remarks by Co-Chairs

04.40 pm
Tea & Coffee

07.00 pm
Dinner
Hosted by the Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Venue: Temple Trees

Day 02 full schedule

12 October, 2018

Round Table Session 3 – An End to Uncertainty: Safety and Security at Sea

The Indian Ocean is emerging as a major geopolitical theatre due to the ever-increasing trade through its sea lanes. At the same time, nations of the Indian Ocean rim have witnessed the growth of non-traditional threats to maritime security. This session will discuss the most pressing security threats in the Indian Ocean and highlight opportunities for regional understanding and cooperation.

09.00 am
Introductory Comments by Co-Chairs
Adm. (Retd.) Travis Sinniah, Former Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy
Adm. (Retd.) R. K. Dhowan, Former Chief of the Indian Naval Staff and Chairman, National Maritime Foundation, India

09.10 am
Remarks by Speakers
Amb. Markus Potzel, Commissioner for South Asia, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
Mr. Satoshi Suzuki, Deputy Minister for Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
Dr. Maria Sultan, Chairperson and President, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute, Pakistan
Capt. Raul Pedrozo, Principal Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, US Indo-Pacific Command
Vice Adm. (Retd.) Anup Singh, Former Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, India

09.50 am
Comments from Discussants and Participants

10.30 am
Closing Remarks by Co-Chairs

10.40 am
Tea & Coffee

Round Table Session 4 – Reinforcing International Law in the Indian Ocean: UNCLOS and Emerging Issues

UNCLOS is the core of the ocean governance regime. The rise of non-traditional security threats and new challenges require collective reflection and deliberation to find effective solutions. This session will consider how to ensure and enhance the prosperity, sustainability, and stability of the Indian Ocean within a rules based approach.

11.10 am
Introductory Comments by Co-Chairs
Dr. Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in New York
Dr. Natalie Klein, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales, Australia and Nonresident Fellow, LKI

11.20 am
Remarks by Speakers
Mr. Alan Cole, Head, Global Maritime Crime Programme, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Prof. Andrew Serdy, Director, Institute of Maritime Law, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
Dr. Bimal Patel, Director and Professor of Public International Law, Gujarat National Law University, India

11.50 pm
Comments from Discussants and Participants

12.40 pm
Closing Session
Closing Remarks by Co-Chairs

Closing Plenary

01.00 pm
Summary of Round Table Sessions
Prof. Nayani Melegoda, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

01.20 pm
Remarks on the Way Forward
Hon. (Dr.) Harsha de Silva, State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Sri Lanka

01.35 pm
Lunch

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