INDIAN OCEAN RIM ASSOCIATION (IORA)
- Recently, External affairs minister S Jaishankar visited Sri Lanka to attend the council of ministers’ meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
WHAT IS IORA ?
- The Indian Ocean Rim Association includes 23 countries from Africa, West Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Australia and littoral states situated in and around the Indian Ocean.
- The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a dynamic inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 11 Dialogue Partners.
- The grouping, whose apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers that meet once a year, moves by rotation through members every two years.
- Sri Lanka took charge as Chair this year from Bangladesh, and India is ViceChair, meaning that the troika of IORA is within the South Asian region.
- IORA’s membership includes 23 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, the Comoros, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the UAE and Yemen.
- It also has 11 dialogue partners: China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Türkiye, the U.K. and the U.S.
- While the IORA was formed in 1997 (then called the Indian Ocean Region Association for Regional Cooperation) in Mauritius, its genesis came from a speech Nelson Mandela gave in Delhi in 1995.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF IORA:
According to its charter, the IORA’s seven priority areas are: Maritime safety and security:
- Trade and investment facilitation;
- Fisheries management;
- Disaster risk management;
- Academic, science and technology;
- Tourism and cultural exchanges;
- Gender empowerment.
- The IORA also runs a special fund in addition, disbursing $80,000- $150,000 for project grants to members, and has a particular focus on climate change.
The Association aims to :
- facilitate and promote economic co-operation,
- bringing together inter-alia representatives of Member States’ governments, businesses and academia.
- In a spirit of multilateralism, the Association seeks to build and expand understanding and mutually beneficial co-operation through a consensus-based, evolutionary and non-intrusive approach.
- Decisions on all matters and issues and at all levels will be taken on the basis of consensus
- A member-driven approach will be followed by Member States to achieve the goals and objectives of the Association.
- Promotion of principles of good governance by Member States will enable smooth implementation of programmes.
SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, CURRENT AFFAIRS