Bangladesh will host the 22nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) meeting in the capital as the current chair of the inter-governmental organisation comprised with 23 member states and 10 dialogue partners.
Dhaka is expecting ministerial level delegation from 16 member countries namely host Bangladesh, Australia, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)and Yemen and one dialogue partner from Japan at the meeting.
Besides, high-level delegations from other member states– France, Iran, Kenya, Oman, Malaysia, Seychelles and Singapore and dialogue partners– China, Egypt, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, the UK and the USA will also attend the COM.
As the IORA chair, Bangladesh will focus on developing a mechanism to undertake larger projects, prevent piracy, armed robbery, unregulated fishing and disaster management at the COM, foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said at a briefing earlier this week.
Dhaka wants “free, inclusive, secure and peaceful” navigation for all without any encumbrance in the Indian Ocean region, he said.
Momen said the priority areas of the IORA are maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation, fisheries management, disaster risk management, tourism and cultural exchanges, academic, science and technology cooperation, blue economy and women’s economic empowerment.
He put emphasis on making the best use of the sea in a more “regulated, progressive and scientific” way.
Momen said the visiting ministers and state ministers will jointly meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during their stay here.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association is an inter-governmental organisation which was established on March 7, 1997.
Bangladesh assumed the position of the IORA Chair at the 21st IORA COM meeting and adopted the theme of “Harnessing the opportunities of the Indian Ocean sustainably for inclusive development” for its Chairship from 2021-2023.