GS Paper - 2 Multilateralism

In a bilateral development, France has agreed to join India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI). The initiative was proposed by the Prime Minister in November 2019 during the East Asia summit. The move comes as French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is on a three-day visit to India. India and France continue to enhance the engagements in several sectors including defence, and maritime.

What

  1. The India-France Varuna naval exercise that is all set to take place from 26 April will have a French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, take part.
  2. The aircraft is the first French nuclear-powered surface vessel. The exercise will take place off the coast of Oman (Western Indian Ocean).
  3. India also joined France's initiative La Pérouse exercises earlier this month.
  4. The exercise witnessed the participation of Quad countries- India, US, Australia, and Japan.
  5. In January 2021, France and India launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment, which will structure the cooperation between our two countries in the run-up to the key multilateral events of the year, such as COP15 and COP26.

What is the IPOI - Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative?

  1. The initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to enhance seven key pillars which include trade connectivity, maritime transport, maritime security, maritime ecology, maritime resources, capacity building and resource sharing, disaster risk cutback and management, science, technology, and academic partnership.
  2. India has been trying to connect with several countries under IPOI.
  3. Countries from the region are invited to participate in the initiative. IPOI stresses a partnership with like-minded countries for maritime enhancement.