Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit will be held in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 7, 2017, with the theme Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean. The Summit will be preceded by meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials on March 5, 2017 and meeting of the Council of Ministers on March 6, 2017.
The IORA Summit is the first meeting of the leaders of IORA member states since its establishment in Mauritius in 1997. The summit provides momentum for the strengthening of cooperation in the Indian Ocean region. The IORA Summit is also held during Indonesia’s chairmanship of the IORA for the period of 2015 – 2017. With South Africa as vice and future chair of IORA in 2017 – 2019, Indonesia works closely with IORA member states and dialogue partners to strengthen cooperation in the Indian Ocean in the six priority areas; maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation, fisheries management, disaster risk management, science and technology cooperation, as well as tourism and cultural exchanges; and the two cross cutting issues of blue economy and women empowerment.
21 member states and 7 dialogue partners of IORA are expected to attend the Leaders’ Summit, as well as a number of invited guests. The summit shall adopt three documents, namely the IORA Concord, an action plan as well as a stand-alone declaration in countering violent extremism. The IORA Concord is a strategic document which sets the ways and means to strengthen regional architecture in the Indian Ocean Rim and elevate IORA as a regional cooperation.
IORA is a regional forum which aims to facilitate and promote economic co-operation, bringing together inter-alia representatives of Member States’ governments, businesses and academia. The Association compromises of 21 Member States, namely: Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Currently, IORA has 7 Dialogue Partners which consists of China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States of America.