South Africa Current Affairs
Bangladesh was as Vice Chairman of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for the period of 2019-21 and eventually as IORA Chairman for 2021-23 at 18th IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting held in Durban, South Africa. The Current Chair is South Africa and Vice Chair is UAE.
As per practice, IORA is led by Chair and Vice Chair on behalf of member States. The stint of posts is two years. When incumbent Vice Chair UAE will take post of Chair in 2019, Bangladesh will assume Vice Chairmanship. After completion of 2 years of vice chairmanship, Bangladesh will become Chairman of IORA for first time in October 2021. During 18th IORA Council of Ministers’ Meeting Maldives was accepted as 22nd Member of IORA .Two outcome documents were adopted namely ‘Declaration on commemoration of Nelson Mandela’ and eThekwini Communique.
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
IORA is international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering Indian Ocean, established in 1997 to promote cooperation in IOR. It is regional forum, tripartite in nature, bringing together representatives of Government, Academia and Business for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening Economic Cooperation particularly on Trade Facilitation and Investment, Promotion as well as Social Development of the region. IORA comprises 22 member states (including India) and 7 dialogue partners. Besides, Indian Ocean Research Group and Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation have observer status.
The sixth edition of IBSAMAR, a joint multi–national maritime exercise between Indian, Brazilian and South African Navies was held at Simons Town, South Africa. The aim of this maritime exercise is to undertake collective training for participating navies, building interoperability and mutual understanding as well as sharing of best practices.
It was initiated in 2006. It is considered as most visible manifestation of convergence of democratic values, economic interests and maritime cooperation. The last edition of IBSAMAR V was conducted off Goa, India in February 2016 and all previous exercises were held in South Africa.
This edition exercise included both harbour and sea phases with various navigation and seamanship evolutions, force protection exercises, surface weapons firing, antipiracy exercise, anti-air and anti-submarine exercise and flying operations were also conducted. Apart from professional activities, sports and social engagements were also conducted.
For this exercise, Indian Navy was represented by Guided Missile Destroyer Kolkata, Guided Missile Frigate Tarkash, Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I, Seaking and Chetak helicopters as well as MARCOS contingent. South African Navy was represented by SAS Amatola, SAS Protea and SAS Manthatisi along with elements of its maritime reaction squadron. Brazilian Navy was represented by frigate BNS Barroso, platoon of Special Forces and air asset of AS350 Ecureuil.
It is international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among India, Brazil, South Africa. It aims at galvanizing South-South cooperation and greater understanding between three important continents of developing world form Africa, Asia and South America.
The forum provides three countries with platform to engage in discussions for cooperation in field of agriculture, trade, culture, and defence among others. It also plays important role in foreign policies of India, Brazil and South Africa.
IBSA has become instrumental for promoting ever closer coordination on global issues between three large multicultural and multiracial democracies of Asia, South America and Africa. It has contributed to enhancing trilateral India-Brazil-South Africa cooperation in sectoral areas.