Indian Ocean Rim Association Current Affairs - 2019

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19th IORA ministerial meet held at Abu Dhabi, UAE

The 19th Indian Ocean Rim Association COM (Council of Ministers) meeting was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE on November 7, 2019. Minsters from 22 countries attended the meeting.

The meeting was chaired by UAE. The Chairmanship passes from Republic of South Africa that held the chair between the period 2017-19. For the period of 2019-2021, UAE will hold the chairmanship assisted by Bangladesh.

Highlights

  • The meeting was preceded by 21st Committee of Senior Officials (CSO). The CSO is being held twice a year.
  • Theme: Promoting a shared destiny and path to prosperity in Indian ocean
  • The meeting focused on growth, sustained development and economic cooperation in the IORA region

Significance

  • The IORA is a broad platform that connects the world’s most dynamic regions of south, west and south east Asia, Africa and Oceania through seas.
  • India is the largest contributor to IORA Special Fund. Recently India contributed 1 million USD to the fund. India also shares expertise to strengthen the association
  • India hosted the first Indian Ocea Dialogue in 2015. It was held at Kochi and the Kochi Consensus was released. It focused on maritime security challenges, information sharing, cooperation in disaster relief and economic cooperation.

Ministry of External Affairs sets up Indo-Pacific Wing

The Ministry of External Affairs has set up an Indo-Pacific division in the foreign office. The Indo-pacific division is intended to give a coherent architecture to the Indo-Pacific policy articulated by PM Narendra Modi at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2018.

Indo-Pacific Wing

  • The Indo-Pacific Wing is currently headed by joint secretary Vikram Doraiswami.
  • The Indo-Pacific Wing is a big step by the government and it is expected to give thrust to the Indo-Pacific centred policymaking.
  • The Indo-Pacific Wing integrates the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), ASEAN region and the Quad.

The Indo-Pacific diplomacy of India India has repeatedly placed ASEAN at the centre of its policy. Even the US has recently renamed its Pacific Command to the Indo-Pacific Command as it seeks to give teeth to its Indo-Pacific policy.