India today called for a global strategy to eradicate the menace of piracy in the seas and increased regional cooperation in areas of maritime security, disaster management and fisheries.
India, which assumed charge as chair of the 18-member Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) also announced additional funding of $1 million for financing projects and studies of common interest among member-nations of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation Special Fund, in order to make regional cooperation more meaningful.
"To make the IOR-ARC Special Fund an effective instrument for financing projects and studies of common interest, India has decided to provide additional funding of $1 million to the fund," external affairs minister S M Krishna told the council of ministers' meeting of the 11th IOR-ARC in Bangalore today.
He called for better coordination among countries of the region to build on the existing national, regional and multi-lateral measures to combat piracy at seas, which, he said, was a "priority challenge."
"Piracy is a priority challenge. It increases the direct cost of trade. It adds indirect costs through increased insurance premium and a human cost to many of our nationals involved in shipping industry," he said.
Krishna also stressed the need for building functional relationship between navies and coast guards of countries in the region to enhance security in Indian Ocean.