Home Minister P. Chidambaram and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano launched today in New Delhi the India-U.S. Homeland Security Dialogue, which was announced by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama in November 2010 as part of the global strategic partnership between India and the United States.
Home Minister Chidambaram and Secretary Napolitano affirmed the strategic importance of cooperation for the security of the two countries and their people, based on their shared values of democracy, pluralism and openness; the threat of terrorism and other challenges, including cyber security, counterfeit currency, illicit financing and transnational crimes; and, the deepening technological and economic partnership between India and the United States.
The leaders expressed satisfaction with the growth in counter-terrorism and related security cooperation between India and the United States. They noted the contribution of existing mechanisms such as the Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism, established in 2000, the Defense Policy Group, the Joint Working Group on Information and Communications Technology and the Aviation Security Working Group and the Counter-terrorism Cooperation Initiative of July 2010 in advancing India-U.S. cooperation.
They discussed their cooperation in the investigations into the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 and reiterated their governments' commitment to bring the perpetrators and the supporters of the Mumbai attack to justice. As Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama stated in November 2010, the Minister and Secretary called on Pakistan to move expeditiously in prosecuting those involved in the Mumbai terror attack. Home Minister Chidambaram and Secretary Napolitano committed their governments to comprehensive sharing of information relating to the Mumbai attack. The leaders reaffirmed their governments’ resolve to defeating the forces of terrorism and called for effective steps by all countries to eliminate safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism.
Home Minister Chidambaram and Secretary Napolitano today committed to expand India-U.S. cooperation to further strengthen their capacity to secure their countries and protect their people.
The two leaders agreed to share ideas and experiences on the ongoing transformation of their countries’ security-related organizational structures and systems as well regulatory framework, in a democratic and federal environment.
They decided to strengthen agency-to-agency engagement, including in the areas of intelligence exchange, information sharing, forensics and investigation, access and sharing of data relating to terrorism, security of infrastructure, transportation and trade, conducting joint needs assessments, combating counterfeit currency, countering illicit financing and transnational crime. They agreed that the two sides shall designate points of contact and establish protocols for engagement.
They decided to foster capacity building in areas including counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, counterfeit currency, illicit financing and transnational crime, security of infrastructure, transportation and trade, coastal security and large city policing. They agreed on the need for appropriate government agencies to work together and share best practices to enhance the security and resilience of the global supply chain.
They affirmed the importance of increased dialogue and cooperation in the area of cyber security. They welcomed the decision of the two governments to negotiate a MoU between CERT-IN and U.S.-CERT, the designated agencies for information exchange. They also decided to cooperate in capacity building and to work together, and with other countries, to advance cyber security standards.
Home Minister Chidambaram and Secretary Napolitano agreed that the two governments should maintain a regular dialogue to share information and assessment on equipment, technologies and systems for homeland security and counter-terrorism; and, to facilitate bilateral technology transfer and trade in these items, in the spirit of the strategic partnership between the two countries. They noted the role of the private sector in India and the U.S. in providing technological solutions and equipment, and they agreed to explore engagement between the governments and the private sectors through appropriate forums.
Home Minister Chidambaram and Secretary Napolitano agreed on a calendar of events, collaborative activities and initiatives to be implemented over the next twelve months. They also decided that the Home Secretary of India and the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security should meet at the end of six months to review progress in their collaboration.
Home Minister Chidambaram and Secretary Napolitano committed to hold the Homeland Security Dialogue annually to set strategic directions for continued cooperation in homeland security.
During her visit to India, Secretary Napolitano also met with senior police officials in Mumbai and visited the commemorative memorial of 26/11 in Mumbai. Secretary Napolitano called on Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.
Secretary Napolitano thanked Home Minister Chidambaram for the warm hospitality extended to her and her delegation and invited him for the next round of the India-U.S. Homeland Security Dialogue in Washington DC at a mutually convenient date next year.