2023 Kolkata dialogue

2023 Kolkata dialogue

Kolkata dialogue

Australia and India: Working together to help build resilience in Indo-Pacific Island States

Kolkata, 26 September 2023

The Island States of the Indo-Pacific are vulnerable to a host of challenges including climate change, resource management and geopolitical competition, which create threats and generate insecurities.

As important regional powers in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, India and Australia have long played leading roles in working with Island States in building resilience and assisting in economic development.

India has historically played a leading role in the Indian Ocean. However, in May this year we saw a focused and concerted effort from the Indian government when PM Modi unveiled a 12-step action plan at the third forum for India-Pacific Island Cooperation in Papua New Guinea to strengthen India’s engagement with Pacific Island countries. For its part, Australia has long been focused on the Pacific, but it is now in the process of stepping up its engagement in key parts of the Indian Ocean, including Island States.

Australia and India now face common challenges as they work to build resilience and security in Pacific and Indian Ocean Island States. There is likely to be much that they can learn from each other. There are also many opportunities to play complementary roles in supporting each other’s efforts to build a resilient and prosperous neighbourhood.


The Dialogue is a partnership between Australia India Institute and Observer Research Foundation, India. The purpose is to promote Australia-India cooperation in building resilience and security of Indo-Pacific Island States. It will bring together experts and officials from both countries to discuss ways to work together to help strengthen Indo Pacific Island States against a range of threats and risks, including from climate change, damaging extraction of resources, economic coercion and disinformation.


Session 1: Australia, India and the Indo-Pacific Island States
Session 2:
Building resilience to climate change
Session 3:
Strengthening management of natural resources
Session 4:
Building resilience to economic coercion and disinformation

“As two influential Indo-Pacific states, Australia and India are uniquely placed to act as security leaders in the Pacific and the Indian oceans.”

The Hon Lisa Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Australia India Institute

“The churn in the waters of the Indo-Pacific makes it imperative for key regional stakeholders like India and Australia to work together to help the island nations enhance their resilience in meeting contemporary challenges.”

Professor Harsh V Pant, Vice President – Studies and Foreign Policy, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi

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