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The UAE has expressed its support for the efforts being made to further promote, expand, and develop cooperation under the auspices of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, IORA.
South Africa is the current Chair and UAE is the Vice-Chair of the IORA.
In her remarks at the Ninth Bi-annual Meeting of Committee of Senior Officials on 19th and 20th June, 2019, in Durban, South Africa, Amna Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Economic and Trade Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, highlighted the UAE’s commitments to the IORA in their upcoming chairmanship later this year and promised to build upon the momentum generated by South Africa in further strengthening the bonds that exist between the Member States.
The IORA provides an important multilateral platform for seizing untapped opportunities to deliver prosperity, peace and sustainable development in the IORA region, given the rapid political and economic transformations, she said.
She recognised the need for more efforts to ensure the efficiency of the organisation at the regional and international levels.
”The UAE is looking forward to taking over the presidency of IORA from 2019 to 2021 during the 19th Council of Ministers Meeting at the end of 2019,” she explained. Bangladesh will be the Vice-Chair.
As Chair of IORA 2019, the UAE will focus on contributions in areas of vital interest such as maritime security and safety, facilitation of trade and investment, cultural and tourist exchange, women’s economic empowerment and increasing momentum in regards to the blue economy, Al Suwaidi said.
Dr N. Nokwe, Secretary General of IORA, stressed on the fact that Member States must continue to revitalise IORA giving a stronger international voice to issues which are important to the Indian Ocean region and to fully embrace the diverse membership of the Association. She also stated that “We are very excited about the forthcoming Chairship of the UAE, and we look forward to the priorities and preparations for this dynamic Chairship.”
The Durban meeting, which brought together the 22 Member States and specialised agencies under the chairmanship of South Africa, took stock of IORA’s progress in each priority area, identified priorities during the remaining term of the Action Plan 2017-2021, and considered next steps in preparing the new IORA Action Plan post-2021.The meeting also provided an opportunity for Member States to discuss preparations for the forthcoming Council of Ministers Meeting at which the United Arab Emirates will assume the Chair of IORA.
On the sidelines of the meeting, a meeting bringing the UAE, South Africa, Indonesia and Dr N. Nokwe, IORA Secretary-General, discussed the mechanism of handing over the IORA presidency to the UAE at the end of 2019.
The IORA is a dynamic inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 22 Member States and nine Dialogue Partners.Source: Emirates News Agency (WAM)