Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held its 13th Council of Ministers meeting in Perth, Australia on 1 November 2013. On the occasion, India handed over the chair of the IORA to Australia. India chaired the IORA, since 2011.
The Perth reviewed the process made by IORA since 2012 meeting in Gurgaon, India. The future directions and initiatives to advance were considered then for the interests of the IORA and its members.
The thirteenth Council of Ministers' Meeting was visited by the member states Foreign Ministers namely Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
• Reiterating that IORA is the apex pan-regional organisation for the Indian Ocean.
• Recalling the six priority areas of cooperation agreed at the eleventh COMM (Council of Ministers' Meeting) in Bengaluru, namely: Maritime Safety and Security; Trade and Investment Facilitation; Fisheries Management; Disaster Risk Management; Academic and Science and Technology Cooperation; and Tourism and Cultural Exchanges.
• Recalling Also our desire to promote the sustainable growth and balanced development of the Indian Ocean region and IORA Member States, and to create common ground for regional economic cooperation.
• Committed to promoting cooperation and collaboration between IORA and other Indian Ocean regional stakeholders including Dialogue Partner States and other regional and international forums.
• Reaffirming our commitment to the Charter of the United Nations, to the Charter of IORA, and to the applicable principles of international law.
• Reaffirming Also our commitment to 'The Future We Want', as adopted at the 2012 United Nation as Conference on Sustainable Development, and to the protection, restoration, health, productivity and resilience of the Indian Ocean and its resources.
• Recognising that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources and plays a vital role in maintaining peaceful cooperation and stability across the Indian Ocean.
About the IORA
The IOR-ARC was formally launched at the first Ministerial Meeting in Mauritius on 6 – 7 March 1997. This meeting adopted the IOR-ARC Charter, and determined a number of administrative and procedural matters.
The apex body of the IOR-ARC is the Council of (Foreign) Ministers (COM). The meeting of the COM is preceded by the meetings of the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG), Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum (IORBF), Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI), and the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO). The Coordinating Secretariat of IOR-ARC is located at Ebène, Mauritius. Apart from a Secretary-General, its present staff strength at the executive level includes two Directors and eight local staff.
IORA was formerly known as IOR-ARC (Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation).
Members of IORA (IOR-ARC)
The Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), initially known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative, is an International/Diplomatic Organization with 20 Member States namely Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Whereas the China, Egypt, France, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States of America are Dialogue Partners of the IOR-ARC. The Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation (IOTO) and Indian Ocean Research Group (IORG) have been granted Observer Status.