December 28, 2023
Exploring the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC)
- India’s recent participation in the sixth NSA meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) marks a significant stride in regional security collaboration among member nations. This grouping, composed of India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Mauritius, holds pivotal importance in addressing collective security concerns.
Origins and Evolution:
- The CSC traces its roots back to the Trilateral for Maritime Security Cooperation, which initiated dialogues among NSAs and Deputy NSAs from India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka in 2011. However, escalating tensions between India and the Maldives led to a hiatus after 2014. The revival and rebranding of this initiative in 2020 as the CSC saw the inclusion of Mauritius as a member, broadening its regional scope.
Membership and Observers:
- Presently, the CSC encompasses India, Maldives, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka as full-fledged members, fostering a collaborative approach to security. Additionally, Bangladesh and Seychelles stand as observer nations, contributing insights and perspectives to the discussions.
Core Areas of Cooperation:
- The CSC operates around five fundamental pillars, emphasizing critical aspects of regional security. These pillars encompass maritime safety and security, countering terrorism and radicalization, combating trafficking and transnational organized crime, cyber-security, and safeguarding critical infrastructure. This comprehensive approach ensures a holistic strategy in addressing diverse security challenges.
Establishment of a Permanent Secretariat:
- In 2021, a permanent secretariat headquartered in Colombo was established, serving as the operational nerve center for the CSC. This central body orchestrates all activities and translates decisions made at the NSA level into actionable initiatives, streamlining coordination and implementation efforts.
- The Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) stands as a pivotal regional initiative, fostering multilateral cooperation among member nations to tackle diverse security challenges. Its structured approach, guided by the five core pillars, underscores the commitment to collective security and stability in the region.