IORA Diplomacy to Back Up Vision of Maritime Axis: Retno Marsudi

Jakarta, IORA - Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the maritime diplomacy through the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is aimed at promoting the Indonesian vision of maritime axis.

"Leadership as Indonesian legacy over the Indian Ocean is part of the world maritime axis idea brought around by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). IORA constitutes a realization of Indonesian maritime diplomacy to back up the countrys vision of maritime axis," Retno said here on Friday.

The minister said the Indonesian government as IORA chairman for the 2015-2017 period, has sought to synchronize the program and priorities in IORA with the vision of world maritime axis Indonesia is seeking to bring about.

"We see the potential as in the IORA Concord, cooperation to be developed by IORA member countries has much in common with the pillars of the vision of world maritime axis," she said.

IORA Concord is a document of agreements between IORA member countries to be signed by heads of state or government of IORA member countries at the IORA Summit Meeting on Tuesday , March 7, 2017.

Five pillars of world maritime axis are management of maritime resources, maritime defense, maritime diplomacy, maritime connectivity, infrastructure and culture.

Retno said the five pillars in the Indonesian vision of world maritime axis are conformed with a number of types of cooperation in the IORA Concord, such as cooperation in fishery management, maritime security and safety, connectivity and port cooperation and small and medium enterprises, promotion of sustainable fishery industry.

Also, the five pillars of the Indonesian vision of world maritime axis are synchronized with a number of priority sectors in the IORA cooperation program such as in maritime security and safety and fishery management.

The theme used in the IORA meeting under the chairmanship of Indonesia is "Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean".

The IORA summit meeting will take place on March 7, preceded by a senior official meeting on March 5 and foreign ministerial meeting on March 6.

At the ministerial meeting , there would an agreement on action plan for the next four years such as issue of women economic empowerment, declaration of prevention and eradication of terrorism, extremism and violence.

At the summit meeting, the heads of state and government would sign the IORA Concord.

Retno said there will be a business meeting as part of the summit conference to be attended by around 250 business leaders from the IORA member countries.

The theme of the Business Summit is "Building Partnership for Sustainable and Equitable Economic Growth".

The IORA summit meeting would be participated in by 21 member countries and seven dialog partners.

Based on the composition of countries grouped in IORA, half of them are members of the G-20, Retno said.

She said Indonesia offers to host the IORA Summit Meeting as the country wants to show its leadership in the Indian Ocean Rim.

"This is part of a series of leadership Indonesia wants to play in various regions. We have played leading role in Asia and the Pacific. We also want to show leadership in the Indian Ocean rim, where there has been no good governance. Indonesia, therefore wants to show it leadership in this summit meeting," she said.

State Secretary Pratikno said IORA was established in 1997, but only in 2017 it would has a summit meeting.

"It would be the first summit meeting of IORA and it is on the initiative of Indonesia as we want to be a world maritime axis," he said. 

Source: Antara