The 18th Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers’ Meeting has elected Bangladesh as the Vice Chairman of IORA for the period of 2019-21 and eventually as the IORA Chairman for 2021-23, Agencies report.
As per the practice, IORA is led by Chair and Vice Chair on behalf of the Member States, said the Foreign Ministry here.
The stint of the posts is two years. The Current Chair is South Africa and the Vice Chair is UAE.
When the incumbent Vice Chair UAE will take the post of Chair in 2019, Bangladesh will assume the Vice Chairmanship.
After completion of two years of vice chairmanship, Bangladesh will become the Chairman of IORA for the first time on 01 October 2021.
During the Meeting, Maldives was accepted as the 22nd Member of the IORA.
Myanmar also applied for the membership of IORA which was not approved due to lack of consensus.
During the meeting, IORA expressed deepest gratitude to the Bangladesh government for making a special contribution of USD 5750 to support the strengthening of the IORA Secretariat.
At the meeting, Bangladesh informed the IORA member states that it would host the Third IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference in Dhaka in September 2019 which would be the first ever IORA Ministerial level Conference to be organized by Bangladesh.
The 18th IORA Council of Ministers Meeting adopted two outcome documents namely the ‘Declaration on the commemoration of Nelson Mandela’ and the eThekwini Communique which are expected to enhance co-operation among the 21 member states and contribute more in ensuring a peaceful, stable and sustainable Indian Ocean.
This year’s Council of Ministers’ Meeting held in Durban, South Africa on November 2 was attended by delegations from IORA’s 21 Member States at the Ministerial and State Ministerial level which included Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore and UAE among others.
The meeting was also attended by 7 Dialogue Partners of the association.
A delegation led by Rear Admiral Md. Khurshed Alam, Head, Maritime Affairs Unit, with rank to Secretary , Ministry of Foreign Affairs represented Bangladesh at the Council of Ministers’ Meeting.
The same delegation also participated at the 20th IORA Meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials held on 31 October-01 November at the same venue.