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Kolkata, [India] November 23 (ANI): The fifth edition of the EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation focuses on greater maritime security in the wider Indo-Pacific - the region in which India is poised to play a major role.

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a premier leaders-led forum to exchange views on strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific.

Earlier, the EAS conference was first initiated in 2015 and the first conference was held in New Delhi. The second was held in Goa in 2017, the third in Bhubaneswar in 2018, and the fourth in Chennai last year.

The fifth event is held in co-operation with Australia which is also expanding its strategic expansion in the Indo-Pacific region.

Since its inception in 2005, EAS has been playing an important role in negating issues related to traditional and non-traditional security challenges in the region.

The recently held 16th EAS Summit also touched upon these issues, including the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic on the security situation in the Indo-Pacific.

India as a part of its strategic vision envisages a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations and peaceful settlement of issues through mutual co-operation.

EAS focusses on seven pillars for cooperation and collaboration namely Maritime Security, Maritime Ecology, Maritime Resources, Capacity Building and Resource Sharing, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, Science, Technology and Academic Cooperation and Trade, Connectivity and Maritime Transport with an aim to fulfil the overarching and converging interests in the Indo-PacificThese, together with India's commitment to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and customary law of the seas, provide a direction and a framework for efforts to enhance public good in the broader Indo-Pacific.

In August 2021, India, under its presidency of United Nations Security Council hosted a High-level Open Debate on 'Enhancing Maritime Security - A Case for International Cooperation' which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi put forward the SAGAR Doctrine - an acronym for 'Security and Growth for all in the Region'. This vision focuses on cooperative measures for sustainable use of the oceans and provides a framework for a safe, secure, and stable maritime domain in the region.

The thematic session of the conference includes discussion on maritime security, resource and information: science and technology co-operation and pandemic and disaster risk reduction and management. (ANI)

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