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Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

Topics Covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)


What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: IORA- composition, objectives, functions, significance and relevance.


Context: The 19th IORA Council of Ministers meeting will be held on November 7 in Abu Dhabi with the theme of “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean”.

  • The meeting is important as two of India’s important partners, the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh, will take charge as the new chair and vice-chair of one of the largest regional maritime organisations for the duration of 2019-21.


About IORA:

  1. The Indian Ocean Rim Association was set up with the objective of strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region.
  2. Setup in 1997, it Consists of 22 coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean.
  3. The IORA is a regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
  4. It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperationparticularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region.


Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) has identified six priority areas, namely:

  1. maritime security,
  2. trade and investment facilitation,
  3. fisheries management,
  4. disaster risk reduction,
  5. academic and scientific cooperation and
  6. tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.


Significance of IORA:

  • The existence of IORA is a reminder of the untapped potential of Indian Ocean regionalism.
  • Nearly five decades ago, in the aftermath of decolonisation, the attempt to bring together the Indian Ocean states faltered amidst deep divisions within the littoral and due to the negative impact of the Cold War.
  • Today, the IORA underlines the region’s agency in shaping its own future.


Indian Ocean and it’s significance:

  • As the third largest ocean woven together by trade routes, commands control of major sea-lanes carrying 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, the Indian Ocean remains an important lifeline to international trade and transport.
  • Home to nearly 2.7 billion people, Member States whose shores are washed by the ocean are rich in cultural diversity and richness in languages, religions, traditions, arts and cuisines.


Sources: the Hindu.