Galle Dialogue since its inception in 2010 has created a forum for all stakeholders to express their opinion for safety and security of the maritime domain through cooperation, collaboration and partnerships. Since then the forum has attracted players from the region and beyond to visit this annual gathering to network and renew association just as the role played by Port of Galle many centuries back. Seafaring traders in sailing days gathered in Galle bringing along with them different cultural values and best practices in seafaring whilst the neutrality of the island of serendipity encouraged the interaction and cherished the inter-dependency. Having repeated the same avatar, this year’s Galle Dialogue; the 10th edition is aiming to review the position presently during the course made good for the last 10 years.
This past decade had been a transforming period for Indian ocean as piracy dominated concerns at the beginning of the decade in the ocean space shifted to transnational maritime crimes, maritime disasters, shipping and ports, marine pollution, regional maritime issues and finally to geostrategic concerns by the end of the decade. All stakeholders of the Galle Dialogue over the last ten years have responded singularly or collectively for these concerns and these responses leave much room to learn from each other. The learning process has been unique as one stakeholder learns through their experience, another stakeholder destine to repeat the same process on a different time scale with variations peculiar to the region or to the State. During these ten years, each stakeholder contributed to the common good of seafaring in a wide variety of way as per individual national interest. These contributions again leave window of opportunity to learn through retrospective analysis of each other’s to make the seas safer for all.
Ensuring the safety of the maritime domain requires strong and enduring partnerships among the stakeholders. Thus, this year’s Galle Dialogue international maritime conference is aiming to draw respective strengths from these partnerships to the attention of high level leadership and decision-makers to fulfill strategic, operational and tactical interests common to maritime affairs of the next decade. The conference intends to discuss operational case studies of contemporary maritime issues to introduce a new perspective through a refined mindset.
The Galle Dialogue 2019, under the theme of “Refining mindset to address transnational maritime threats; A review of the decade” intends to focus on preparing for the future with revised mindset to address transnational maritime threats based on the experiences of the stakeholders in last 10 years. In this forum, the stakeholders will be invited to present their case-studies based on facts, figures, lessons learned and recommendations in preparing for the third decade of the new millennium. The focus is to revisit the issues that each stakeholder faced during a decade of time to learn the best practices in addressing, mitigating and curbing the threats posed to the good order of the maritime space in the Indian Ocean.