Bali [Indonesia], Oct. 28 : The United States has admitted to rebalancing its global security policies with regard to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, as this is determined by recent events taking place in the region.
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Manpreet Singh Anand revealed this in remarks at a meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) here on Thursday.
He said, "The Indian Ocean region will increasingly play a critical role in driving the global economy, addressing global issues, and affecting global security." "The United States' rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific has been based - in part - on the premise that security and prosperity in the world will be determined by what happens in this region," he said, adding, "Since becoming a Dialogue Partner in 2012 we have stressed that the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) can play a vital role in the multilateral regional architecture that the Indian Ocean needs." The United States also welcomed IORA's increased consideration of the role of dialogue partners.
"IORA has the potential to help create a shared Indian Ocean consciousness among the Indian Ocean countries of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Oceania," said Anand.
He said that Washington sees commonality of interests between IORA members and dialogue partners - particularly on maritime security and sustainable development of the ocean.
Pointing out to the security challenges faced he said, "(It faces) illicit trafficking of drugs, wildlife, weapons and not least, the terrible tragedy of human trafficking - all of which require a determined and coordinated response." Talking on the issue of transnational terrorism Anand said, "Transnational terrorism also remains a persistent and pernicious threat, and it is our shared responsibility to counter this threat, particularly the movements, messaging, and financing of foreign terrorist fighters." Further in his remarks, he urged the members and dialogue partners of the IORA to continue their support to existing bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to counter transnational threats and explore new avenues for cooperation.
He said that the conservation commitments made at this year's Our Ocean conference held in Washington last month were impressive, equaling roughly 5.3 billion dollars and including more than 1.5 million square kilometers of new marine protected areas.
The 'Our Ocean' conference also stressed the importance of developing the Blue Economy in accordance with science-based conservation and sustainable management of ocean and coastal resources and ecosystems.
He also called upon the IORA Secretariat, member states and dialogue partners to participate in the next scheduled Our Ocean conference that the European Union will host next year.