During his speech at the sixth Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) 2023 held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from May 12-13, 2023, Vice President Faisal Naseem stated that President Solih considers maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean region as a top priority in foreign policy.
The conference’s theme was “Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership for a Resilient Future,” and Vice President Naseem stated that achieving a resilient and sustainable future requires proactive measures that promote transformation, including adaptive management, learning, innovation, and leadership.
The Vice President pointed out that the Maldives administration is aware of the challenges that threaten socioeconomic progress in the Indian Ocean, including non-traditional security threats like terrorism, human trafficking, irregular migration, drug smuggling, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.
He emphasized that illegal exploitation of marine resources and the degradation of ocean health put small, low-lying coastal settlements such as the Maldives at particular risk from climate pressures.
Vice President Naseem highlighted that the Indian Ocean region is home to rapidly growing civilizations and is a hub for global trade, and all nations have a responsibility to ensure peace, economic prosperity, environmental protection, and adherence to international rules in the area.
He urged conference participants to build partnerships based on mutual respect and trust to resolve outstanding issues and promote prosperity, sustainability, and stability in the Indian Ocean region through a rules-based approach.