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18th Indian Ocean Rim Association Council of Ministers Meeting (November 02, 2018)

November 02, 2018

Gen.(Dr.) VK Singh (Retd.), Minister of State for External Affairs, attended the 18th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers Meeting in Durban, South Africa on 2 November 2018. This meeting is taking place during the on-going celebrations of the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 100th birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela. Minister emphasized that we should draw inspiration from their struggles and ensure that this young organization of IORA is able to fulfill the mandate that we have given it.

He commended the collective commitment towards the formation of Working Groups on maritime safety and security, Blue Economy and Women Economic Empowerment that has been achieved in the last one year and committed to not only sustain but also build on this momentum.

He mentioned that relations with countries in the Indian Ocean Region and nurturing a climate of peace and stability are important cornerstones of India’s foreign policy. India supports the intensification and invigoration of IORA activities, from renewable energy and the blue economy to maritime safety and security. In a changing global geo-political scenario, IORA has a vital role to play in realizing our common vision for the region. IORA has today grown in substance and stature, and carved a definitive place for itself. He called for strengthening the IORA Secretariat, and the inclusion of "institutional strengthening” as given out both in the Jakarta Concord and the IORA Action Plan.

He informed the meeting of the several initiatives that India has launched and that India has completed twelve of the 13 announced initiatives, concluding with the recent 2nd IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting. He mentioned the flagship project of the establishment of an "IORA Centre of Excellence- the Digital Knowledge Hub”. This Centre is envisaged to serve as a data center and a resource of expertise, knowledge, data and analysis. This Digital Knowledge Hub is being developed to collectively pool the knowledge, resources, expertise by and for the Member States.

He announced the need for creating an identity for the Indian Ocean around which we can build a thriving community of academicians, researchers, government officials, businesspersons and civil society. India’s vision for the region is of advancing cooperation and collective action and of using our capabilities for the larger benefit.

Durban
November 02, 2018

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