IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


26th December, 2023 Security


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The 8th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs (CoC) was conducted by Royal Thai Navy at Bangkok, Thailand from 19 – 22 Dec 23.


Key Highlights of the 8th IONS Conclave of Chiefs (CoC)

  • Host and Participation:
    • The Royal Thai Navy hosted the 8th IONS Conclave of Chiefs in Bangkok, Thailand, from December 19 to 22, 2023.
    • Chiefs of Navies and Senior Delegates from 27 Member and Observer countries actively participated in the event.
  • Leadership Transition and Flag Selection:
    • Thailand assumed the role of Chair of IONS for the next two years during the conclave.
    • India's designed flag was chosen as the official IONS flag for the first time.
    • India also took on the role of co-Chair of IONS Working Groups on Maritime Security and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) for the upcoming cycle.
  • Membership Expansion:
    • Republic of Korea Navy was welcomed as the latest 'Observer,' thereby increasing IONS' collective strength to 34 (25 Members & 09 Observers).
  • Indian Navy's Future Role:
    • India is set to host the 9th CoC of IONS in late 2025 and will assume the Chairmanship of IONS for the term 2025-27.
    • This upcoming leadership role signifies India's commitment to enhancing maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.

History of IONS

  • Inception: IONS was conceived by the Indian Navy in 2008 as an open and inclusive platform for regional maritime cooperation. The inaugural edition took place in New Delhi in 2008.
  • Purpose: IONS serves as a forum to discuss maritime security, foster friendly relationships among member states, and address regionally relevant maritime issues.

Role of IONS

  • Similarity to Other Symposia: It operates as a security construct for the Indian Ocean region, resembling the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, aiming to enhance maritime security cooperation among member nations.
  • Voluntary Initiative: IONS involves voluntary participation from navies and maritime security agencies, organizing various activities like workshops, essay competitions, and lectures.


  • Member States and Sub-regions: The 25 member nations of IONS are categorized into four sub-regions based on their geographical location within the Indian Ocean region.


The recent 8th edition of IONS highlighted the growing importance of multilateral cooperation in maritime security and the significance of joint efforts among Indian Ocean littoral states in addressing common challenges and fostering regional stability.


Q. The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is a significant initiative aimed at fostering maritime cooperation, dialogue, and understanding among the navies and maritime security agencies of the Indian Ocean littoral states. Discuss. (250 Words)