The Colombo Security Conclave (CSC), consisting of India, Maldives, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka, held its seventh Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) level meeting virtually on 12 July. Observers from Bangladesh and Seychelles were also present, as in previous meetings.

Originally established as a trilateral cooperation framework involving India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, the Colombo Security Conclave expanded its membership to include Mauritius during the fifth NSA-level meeting. All five nations hold crucial security partnerships and play vital roles in the security landscape of the Indian Ocean, particularly in South Asia.

Chaired by Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi, the fifth meeting focused on five key pillars of cooperation: Maritime Security, Terrorism and Radicalisation, Transnational Organised Crime, and Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection. To strengthen collaboration in these areas, the member states developed a roadmap aimed at enhancing coordinated responses, capacity building, and information sharing among the nations.

During the sixth NSA-level meeting held in Kochi on 7 July 2022, the group discussed the implementation of the Cooperation Roadmap for 2022-23 and reviewed decisions made during the 5th NSA-level meeting in the Maldives. Together, they resolved to address the increasing threats related to maritime safety, terrorism, trafficking, and organised crime that affect the partner nations.

Wednesday’s meeting, hosted by the Maldives, involved a review of the outcomes from both the fifth and sixth NSA meetings. The participants assessed the progress of various cooperative initiatives and explored new proposals for activities in 2023-2024. Attendees included Shri Vikram Misri, Deputy National Security Adviser of India; Ms Aishath Nooshin Waheed, Secretary at the National Security Advisor’s Office of the Maldives; Principal Coordinator of Security Matters in the Prime Minister’s Office of Mauritius Yoidhisteer Thecka and Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka General Shavendra Silva.

Representing Sri Lanka, Acting Secretary of the CSC Secretariat in Colombo, Commodore AD Weerasinghe, joined the meeting, while Principal Security Officer of the Armed Forces Division, Lt. Gen. Waker Uz Zaman, led the delegation from Bangladesh. Seychelles was represented by the Chief of Strategic Plans, Policy and Engagement of the Seychelles Defence Forces Captain Wilven Jean.

The upcoming eighth NSA level Meeting of the CSC is scheduled to take place in Mauritius on 5-6 October.