The 19th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) Meeting was held in Abu Dhabi (UAE) under the theme of “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has assumed the position of Chair while Bangladesh will be Vice-Chair of the IORA for the period of 2019-2021.
- South Africa was the chair for the period of 2017-2019.
- The meeting was attended by IORA’s 22 Member States and Nine Dialogue Partners.
- It was established in 1997 and its Secretariat is based in Cyber City, Ebène, Mauritius.
- It is a regional forum that seeks to build and expand understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation through a consensus-based, evolutionary and non-intrusive approach.
- It manages, coordinates, services and monitors the implementation of policy decisions, work programmes and projects adopted by the member states.
- The association gains importance by the fact that the Indian Ocean carries half of the world’s container ships, one-third of the world’s bulk cargo traffic and two-thirds of the world’s oil shipments.
- It is a lifeline of international trade and transport and the Indian ocean region is woven together by trade routes and commands control of major sea-lanes.
- Members: IORA has 22 member states, including Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE, and Yemen.