“Galle Dialogue 2016” concludes on a high note pledging support for fostering strategic maritime partnerships

The International Maritime Conference, “Galle Dialogue 2016”, organized by the Sri Lanka Navy under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence, concluded yesterday (29) on a high note pledging support for fostering strategic maritime partnerships. Over 130 delegates from 41 countries and 12 International Organization participated in the two days of discussions, seeking solutions to establish common maritime partnerships through collaborative efforts and building mutual trust. The Sri Lanka Navy's flagship event, "Galle Dialogue" aims at strengthening the regional maritime cooperation and formulating a global strategy to face common challenges in the maritime domain. This collaborative effort has grown in stature over successive years and has earned global acclaim due to its contribution made to establish maritime related matters.

The following papers were presented at the conference held for the seventh consecutive year:

•    Deepening New Concept of Maritime Security and Mutually Fostering Strategic Maritime Partnerships by Rear Admiral Wang Dazhong - Assistant to Chief of Staff of PLA Navy.
•    The Importance of Comprehensive Capacity Building for Successful Strategic Maritime Partnership by Rear Admiral Ryo Sakai - DG Operations and Plans, Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force.

•    The Challenges That Need to be Addressed in Achieving Strategic Maritime Partnership by Vice Admiral Syed Arif Ullah Hussaini - Commander Pakistan Fleet , Pakistan Navy

•    The Dynamics of Evolving Maritime Security Partnerships in the Indo- Asia -Pacific Region by Prof .Geoffrey Till - Chairman of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, UK

•    Maritime Partnerships and the Critical Importance of Developing Interoperability by Rear Admiral Peter Laver - Commander Maritime Border Command, Australian Navy

•    Promoting Maritime Partnerships in the Indo – Pacific by Dr. Vijay Sakuja - Director, National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi

•    Enhancing Regional Cooperation in Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia by Mr. Toong Ka Leong - Senior Manager Operations and Programmes Re CAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC)

•    Safeguarding the Global Commons- A European’s Perspective on the Role of the Naval Cooperation and Maritime Governance by Vice Admiral Andreas Krause - Chief of the German Navy

•    The Royal Netherlands Navy’s Perspective on Cooperation by Lieutenant General Rob Verkerk - Commander , Royal  Netherlands Navy

•    Cooperation and Conflict: Stern Realities in the Indo – Pacific Maritime Realm by Dr. James A. Boutilier - Special Advisor, International Engagement, Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters.

•    Advancing Maritime Cooperation in the Indo – Pacific by Ms. Nilanthi Samaranayake -Analyst, Centre for Naval Analyses, USA.

•    Strategic Maritime Partnerships In Southeast Asia: The Royal Malaysian Navy Perspectives by Rear Admiral Syed Zahiruddin Putra - Assistant Chief of Staff Planning and Development, Royal Malaysian Navy.

•    Benefits of a Rule Based Global Maritime Order by Ms. Josephine Uranza - Regional Coordinator for East Asia, IMO.

•    Fostering Strategic Maritime Partnership: Critical Analysis by Lieutenant General (Retd.) PK Singh - Director, United Service Institution of India.

•    Areas of Focus for Result Oriented Maritime Partnerships to Prevent Emerging Maritime Crimes at Sea by Mr. Alan Cole - Head of the Global Maritime Crime Programme, UNODC

•    Strategic Partnerships and Implementation of UNHCR Mandate by Mr. Igor Ivancic - Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR
•    Solving Maritime Disputes to Establish Partnerships: The Case of the Western Indian Ocean by Mr. Jeffrey Payne - Manager of Academic Affairs, Near East South Asia (NESA)

The concluding remarks of Galle Dialogue 2016 were made by the former Admiral (Retd) Dr. Jayanath Colombage. He summed up the proceedings of the two-day discussions, drawing attention to the salient points on the papers delivered and the speeches made and commended the present Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne for raising the academic level of the Galle Dialogue to a whole new level.

Meanwhile, the Director General Operations and Head of the Steering Committee of the Galle Dialogue International Maritime Conference, Rear Admiral Dharmendra Wettewa proposed the Vote of Thanks. He stated that the Sri Lanka Navy's annual Galle Dialogue conference has paved the way for discussions and analysis that would ultimately aid in fostering strategic maritime partnerships among the stakeholders of this year's dialogue.

Further, he conveyed his deep sense of appreciation for the gracious presence of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena at the Galle Dialogue 2016 International Maritime Conference and expressed great debt of gratitude for the State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene for his gracious presence and delivering a speech in the inaugural session of the dialogue. Moreover the Ministry of Defence, Ministers who participated in and other Government delegates were also thanked for all the assistance rendered and being participated in the flagship event of the Sri Lanka Navy.

Expressing deep appreciation for the cooperation and encouragement extended by many countries, institutions, organizations and individuals for this mega event, Rear Admiral Wettewa stated that it showed their desire and commitment to collaborate in ensuring greater maritime partnerships. Also he promised to continue with this initiative of the Sri Lanka Navy in the years to come as well. On behalf of the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, he thanked all the members of the Galle Dialogue Organizing Committee and the Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Jayantha De Silva and Commander Southern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Nimal Sarathsena, all senior and junior officers and sailors for working tirelessly to make the mega event a total success. Accordingly the Galle Dialogue 2016, International Maritime Conference came to a successful end having aspirations to conduct its 8th edition in year 2017.