New Delhi, March 6: Vice President Hamid Ansari today began his two-day visit to Indonesia to attend the summit of the 21-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in the capital city, Jakarta.
He is expected to lay emphasis on connectivity, open maritime trade and rights of navigation, alongside pitching for cooperation among the think tanks of the member countries to evolve strategies to meet the conventional and non-conventional threats. The theme of the Summit is “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean.”
At the meeting, a declaration on countering violent extremism is expected to be adopted along with the IORA Concord and an action plan. The Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism is an agreement of the IORA member states about the importance of countering terrorism.
On March 29-31, 1995, the Mauritius Government convened a meeting to discuss enhancement of economic co-operation among the countries of the Indian Ocean Rim. Representatives of governments, academia and businesses from Australia, India, Kenya, Mauritius, Oman, Singapore and South Africa - known as the "Core Group States" or the M-7 - attended the meeting.
It was formally launched at the first Ministerial Meeting in Mauritius on March 6-7, 1997. Its priority areas include: Maritime Safety & Security, Trade & Investment Facilitation, Fisheries Management, Disaster Risk Management, Academic, Science & Technology, Tourism & Cultural Exchanges, and Gender Empowerment
The association comprises of 21 nations, including India, Australia, Bangladesh, Singapore, Indonesia, Iran, S. Africa, UAE, Malaysia, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, among others. It also has seven Dialogue Partners -- the US, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.