External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Colombo to participate in the two-day Indian Ocean Conference to be held from August 31 in which Sri Lankan prime minister and president are among key speakers. Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank, will host the IOC 2017 in collaboration with RSIS, Singapore, and NIFS, Colombo–both research and study centres–and the theme of the conference is peace, progress and prosperity, the foundation said in a statement.
It will see participation from around 35 countries and have speakers from 25 countries. The conference will be held in Temple Trees, the official residence of the Lankan prime minister.
This will be second IOC conference. The first was held in Singapore last year in partnership with think tanks from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, it said.
The conference will be inaugurated by Seychelles Vice-President Vincent Meriton, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan besides Swaraj, the statement said.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will deliver the valedictory address.
There will be ministerial representation from Bangladesh, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Vietnam and the conference will also be attended by senior officials from the USA, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Germany, Kenya, South Korea and Afghanistan among others, it said.
A special plenary will have speeches from Krishna Bahadur Mahara, deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Nepal, Tofail Ahmed, minister for commerce of Bangladesh, Tilak Marapana, minister of foreign affairs, Sri Lanka and Iwao Horii, parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs, Japan.
The conference will also see two plenary sessions on peace and one each on progress and prosperity.