Indonesia prepares to host inaugural IORA summit

Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group chair Adriana Elisabeth (Tempo/Maria Rita )

Indonesia is set to host the first Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) leaders’ summit in Jakarta in March next year, bringing together heads of state from 21 coastal countries that border the Indian Ocean, officials have said.

"This is going to be the first high level summit for IORA. In the past, it has been at the ministerial level," Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG) chair Adriana Elisabeth told reporters following a group meeting on Wednesday.

The concept of Blue Economy envisaged by the organization highlights the importance of inclusive and sustainable values, not separate from marine environmental concerns, she added. 

The group meeting of academics in Jakarta on Wednesday resulted in a set of recommendations that will be submitted to IORA secretariat head of the summit, Adriana said.

The document would outline the focus points for the event next year, including highlighting priority areas such as marine safety and security, disaster risk management, fisheries management, trade, tourism, gender empowerment as well as academic science and technology development.

IORA director Graham Anderson said a senior officials meeting would take place in Bali Oct. 22-27 to further discuss preparations, such as an outlook plan for member countries to implement over the next five years.

Indonesia has been IORA chairman for the past two years and will handover leadership to South Africa in 2017. (liz/bbn)