(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Fifth National Security Adviser (NSA) level meeting hosted by the Republic of Maldives was successfully held on 09 and 10 March 2022 with the participation of the delegations of the founding members of Colombo Security Conclave: Maldives, India and Sri Lanka and the newest member of the Conclave, Mauritius. Delegations from Bangladesh and Seychelles participated as Observers.
A series of trilateral meetings had been convened successfully and the Fourth NSA-Level trilateral meeting was held in Sri Lanka on 28 November 2020.
The inaugural trilateral meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation was held in the year 2011 as an initiative of the former Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and the current Sri Lankan President His Excellency GotabayaRajapaksa.
The Fifth NSA level meeting in Maldives was attended by their ExcellenciesMariya Ahmed Didi, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Maldives; AjitDoval, KC, National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of Republic of India; General Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and KumaresanIlango, National Security Adviser to the Republic of Mauritius.
The Bangladesh delegation was led by H.E. Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Defence and Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and H.E. Simon Archange Dine, Chief of Staff of Seychelles Defence Forces represented Seychelles.
Addressing the meeting, General Kamal Gunaratne reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s commitment to the Colombo Security Conclave and the intention to actively spearhead in pursuing the common grounds. Sri Lanka will host the Permanent Secretariat of the Conclave.
The key areas of cooperation were identified during the meeting to enhance and strengthen regional security in the following five pillars:
- Maritime Safety and Security
- Countering Terrorism and Radicalisation
- Combating Trafficking and Transnational Organised Crime
- Cyber Security, Protection of Critical Infrastructure and Technology
- Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
The Member states agreed upon a roadmap for further cooperation and collaboration on these pillars of cooperation. The roadmap will facilitate robust mechanisms for coordinated responses capacity building and strengthening information flow between member states. As maritime neighbours facing similar threats, the Member States of the Conclave reaffirmed their commitment to engage in consistent joint efforts to achieve regional peace and security.