The officials also exchanged views on regional and international developments

The ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials’ Meeting (ARF SOM) held on Thursday saw discussions on the ARF's future plans and activities.

The meeting, held virtually, reviewed activities and exchanges of the 27 member ARF over the past year and deliberated on its future plans and activities, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Senior officials exchanged views on regional and international developments, and on COVID-19 pandemic, terrorism, maritime and cyber security, the MEA added.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of the ARF member states and chaired by Cambodia as the Chairperson of ASEAN. India was represened by Secretary (East), MEA, Saurabh Kumar.

According to the MEA, Secretary (East) appreciated the role of ASEAN-led architecture particularly the ARF in advancing peace, security, and cooperation in the region.

"Recognizing the evolving traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime domain, he emphasised the convergence between the ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) and Indo-Pacific policies announced by several ARF countries," the MEA said.

Kumar also shared India's perspectives on the threat posed by terrorism and the challenges of cyber security.

During the current inter-sessional year, Australia, India and Indonesia co-chaired an ARF workshop on "Law of the Sea and Fisheries” on December 7-8, 2021. India, the US, and Indonesia co-chaired the 13th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security on 12 May 2022.

India seeks to continue to contribute to ARF activities and processes in the next inter-sessional year, the MEA said.