Dec 17: Shri V. Muraleedharan, MoS, Ministry of External Affairs led the Indian delegation at the 20th Meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) hosted virtually by UAE, IORA Chair on 17th December 2020. The meeting saw the participation of all 22 Member States and 10 Dialogue Partners. The meeting deliberated upon various regional and global issues of common interest by IORA Member States. The COM adopted the Emirates Communique and the IORA’s Solidarity and Cooperation Statement in response to Covid-19.
MoS, in his remarks, highlighted IORA’s importance as a platform for regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region and the wider Indo-Pacific. He noted the contributions made by India, as Coordinating Country, in two priority areas of IORA namely, Disaster Risk Management and Academic, Science & Technology. Keeping in view the post-pandemic comprehensive recovery, MoS called for greater cooperation in the field of traditional medicine and wellness tourism among IORA Member States. Taking forward India’s commitment to strengthen IORA, MoS noted the deployment of an IT Expert by India at IORA secretariat and further announced India’s initiatives in the form of implementation of e-Office system and setting up of Mahatma Gandhi library at the IORA Secretariat.
India as a founding member of IORA has been committed to its growth since its inception in 1997. During India’s Chairmanship in IORA in 2011, IORA adopted its six priority areas which are guiding principles of all its activities. India views IORA as an unique platform for promotion of peace stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific through greater inter-regional partnership.