Topic of the Day – Colombo Declaration

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Colombo Declaration

The Colombo Declaration was adopted on the 4th of November 2016 order to coordinate anti-drug efforts in the Indian Ocean Region. The declaration was adopted in the High-Level Meeting of Interior Ministers of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to Counter Drug Trafficking, held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. As the narcotic drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean Region poses a great threat to the security and peace in the region as well as considering the link of drug trafficking to funding of terrorism and organised crime, it was resolved by the 18 littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region to work towards making the region a “Drug Free Zone”.


  • The high-level meeting was attended by 18 littoral states of the IOR which included seven Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Home Affair/ Interior.
  • Seven international organizations and the agencies of the United Nation Organisation engaged in counter-narcotics initiatives in the region attended the High-Level Meeting.

Features of the Colombo Declaration:

  • The declaration emphasizes the need for the cooperation amongst the coastal areas, more closely in order to share information in narcotic drug trafficking, provide mutual legal assistance and enforce the maritime law.
  • It also calls for the development and expansion of communication. It could be carried out through the Indian Ocean Prosecutors Network of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC’s).
  • The declaration calls on the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region to hold meetings on a yearly basis within the framework of the Southern Route Partnership (SRP) of Indian Ocean Forum on Maritime Crime (IOFMC). These states need to assess and share reports on the threat of drug trafficking in the IOR, which would in turn help in developing a coordinated approach for countering such threats.


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