07 November 2019 – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives has signed the Instrument of Acceptance of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) at the IORA Council of Ministers meeting on 7 November 2019, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
IORA – formally known as Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is an inter-governmental association of 22 costal states bordering the Indian Ocean. The aim of the association is to strengthen regional cooperation and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean Region.
Although Maldives gained membership in 2018, this is the first time that the Maldives attended an IORA’s ministerial meeting. By signing the Instrument of Acceptance, Maldives has effectively expressed consent to be bound by the Charter of IORA. Ultimately, signing the Instrument of Acceptance will formalise the membership of Maldives in the IORA.
A distinct honour to signing the Instrument of Acceptance, formalizing Maldives membership in the Indian Ocean Rim Association, #IORA . As a nation that lies at the heart of the Indian Ocean we pledge to strengthen regional cooperation and collaboration in this great region. pic.twitter.com/5AdmDZSvZB
— Abdulla Shahid 🎈 (@abdulla_shahid) November 7, 2019
Prior to departing to Abu Dhabi to participate in the IORA Council of Minister’s meeting, Minister Shaid highlighted that Maldives played a key role in conceptualising IORA at its inception in 1990s.
According to the Charter of IORA, the Association’s fundamental principles include promoting economic co-operation and bringing together governments, businesses and academia of Member States, through a non-intrusive and evolutionary approach.
The priority and focus areas of IORA include Maritime Safety and Security, Trade and Investment Facilitation, Fisheries Management, Disaster Risk Management, Tourism and Culture Exchanges, Academic, Science and Technology, Blue Economy and Women’s Economic Empowerment.