INDIAN OCEAN NAVAL SYMPOSIUM (IONS 2018)
The "Indian Ocean Naval Symposium" (IONS) is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues. In the process, it endeavors to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on the way ahead.
That the launch of so important a regional initiative was able to meet with such wide acceptance across the length and breadth of the Indian Ocean was in itself a unique phenomenon. There are 32 (24 members and 8 observers) Navies of the IONS which have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions:
South Asian Littorals: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and the U.K.
West Asian Littorals: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and UAE
East African Littorals: France, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania
South East Asian and Australian Littorals: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste
Observer countries: China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, the Netherlands, Russia, and Spain