Context: Sri Lanka has taken over the chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
About Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
- It is an intergovernmental organisation of states on the rim of the Indian Ocean.
- It was established in 1997 with an aim to strengthen regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region.
- IORA’s apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) which meets annually.
- Council of Ministers has established a ‘Troika’ consisting of the chair, vice-chair and previous chair.
- Members of IORA: Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
- All sovereign States of the Indian Ocean Rim are eligible for membership of the Association.
- To become members, States must adhere to the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Association.
- The Secretariat of the IORA is hosted by the Government of the Republic of Mauritius, which is based in Cyber City, Ebène, Mauritius.
- Note: Pakistan is not a member of IORA.
Priority and focus area of IORA
- Maritime safety & security
- Trade & investment facilitation
- Fisheries management
- Disaster risk management
- Tourism & Cultural exchanges
- Academic, science and technology cooperation
- Blue economy
- Women’s economic empowerment
Flagship Projects of IORA
- Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD): It is a standalone Track 1.5 discussion encouraging an open and free flowing dialogue by key representatives of IORA Member States such as scholars, experts, analysts and policymakers from governments, think tank and civil societies on a number of crucial strategic issues of the Indian Ocean Region. The first IOD meeting took place in Kerala, India in 2014.
- IORA Sustainable Development Program (ISDP): This initiative of IORA aims to assist least developed countries that require assistance and support to conduct projects, with the purpose to promote sharing experiences and best practices among IORA member states.