0.1589
7667766266
x

Colombo Security Conclave (CSC)

iasparliament Logo
December 28, 2023

Why in news?

Recently, India’s National Security Adviser (NSA), took part in the 6th NSA meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) which agreed upon a road map for the year 2024.

What is Colombo Security Conclave?

  • It is a regional security grouping initially known as the Trilateral for Maritime Security Cooperation.
  • Established in2011
  • Aim – To promote a safe, secure, and stable Indian Ocean, with India playing a leadership role.
  • Membership4
    • India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives were part of trilateral maritime security collaboration, while Mauritius joined at 5th meeting of grouping in Male in 2022.
  • Observer statusBangladesh and Seychelles, now they have received invitations to become active participants in the group.

The CSC countries are all members of the 2 region-wide Indian Ocean groupings, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).

  • 5 pillars
    • Maritime safety and security
    • Countering terrorism and radicalisation
    • Combating trafficking and transnational organised crime
    • Cyber-security and protection of critical infrastructure
    • Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief
  • Permanent secretariatIn Colombo, established in 2021 to coordinate all activities and implement decisions made at the National Security Advisor (NSA) level.
  • Meeting – It happens at the level of NSA and deputy NSA.
  • Security-focused exercises - In 2021, India, Sri Lanka, and Maldives conducted Exercise Dosti XV in Maldives and they subsequently conducted their 1st joint exercise in the Arabian Sea named as Table Top Exercise (TTX).
  • Significance – Since 2021, it has investigated terrorism and terror financing, narcotics trafficking, cybercrime and security, marine pollution, maritime law, and coastal security.
  • Conducting conferences - In 2022, for the 1st time, the organisation held a
    • Conference of oceanographers and hydrographers
    • Conference on coastal security and the next iterations of these conferences are scheduled for 2024.
  • Joint working groups – It is to focus on terrorism, cyber-security, humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR), trafficking and transnational organised crimes.
  • Collaborating on capacity-building - In sectors such as counter-terrorism, police, law enforcement, and cyber-security.

What is the changing dynamics of CSC?

  • Disruption – It started in 2011 but it came to a standstill after 2014 due to rising tensions between India and the Maldives which led to the suspension of meetings between 2014 and 2020.
  • RevivalIn 2020, India pushed for the revival and thus it was rebranded as Colombo Security Conclave.
  • India also expressed interest in expanding the CSC to the Seychelles and Bangladesh who are currently observer nations.
  • Reason for revival – It is due to increasing importance of Indian Ocean in an evolving multipolar world today, with extra-regional powers competing to make inroads in the region.
  • It is partially linked to the increased Chinese presence in Indian Ocean along with its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.
    • China has established a base in Djibouti and controls Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port.
  • Space for India’s leadership – It offers India an opportunity to institutionalise its role, shape the regional security architecture, and better address the existing and emerging threats.
  • India plays as the 1st responder in the IOR, be it to avert coups or to offer humanitarian and economic assistance during COVID-19 and multi-faceted crises.

What are the challenges faced by CSC?

  • Domestic politics – It remains vulnerable to domestic political changes in member-states, as evidenced by the Maldives’ absence from the recent meeting.
  • Chinese influence – All member-states being democracies may continue to play nationalist and pro-China cards for domestic and external benefits as the Indo-Pacific region grows in prominence.
  • Emerging Sub-regionalism – The convergence of 6 Indian Ocean region countries within the CSC signifies the emergence of sub-regionalism on a unified maritime and security platform.

What lies ahead?

  • Uphold a common strategic vision emphasizing the importance of not being hindered by the escalating Chinese influence in the region.
  • Avert points of contention with neighbouring countries and foster collaboration in the region.

References

  1. The Hindu | Evolving role of CSC
  2. Hindustan Times | CSC roadmap for IOR
Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.

ARCHIVES

MONTH/YEARWISE ARCHIVES

sidetext
Free UPSC Interview Guidance Programme
sidetext