Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) 17th Meeting 14-18 October, 2017 in Durban, SA

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Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA): 17th Meeting

14-18 October, 2017 in Durban, SA

The Indian Ocean is the world's third largest ocean. It carries half of the world's container ships, one third of the world's bulk cargo traffic and two thirds of the world's oil shipments. It is a lifeline of international trade and transport. The region is woven together by trade routes and commands control of major sea-lanes. 

The Indian Ocean Rim is a region comprised of the states whose shores are washed by the waters of the Indian Ocean. The region is home to about two billion people. It is a region of much cultural diversity and richness - in languages, religions, traditions, arts and cuisines. The countries of the Indian Ocean Rim vary considerably in terms of their areas, populations and levels of economic development. They may also be divided into a number of sub-regions (Australasia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and Eastern & Southern Africa), each with their own regional groupings (such as ASEAN, SAARC, GCC and SADC, to name a few). Despite such diversity and differences, these countries are bound together by the Indian Ocean.

Nelson Mandela, during a visit to India in 1995 had said: "The natural urge of the facts of history and geography should broaden itself to include the concept of an Indian Ocean Rim for socio-economic co-operation and other peaceful endeavours”.

This sentiment and rationale underpinned the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in March 1995, and the creation of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (then known as the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation) two years later, in March 1997. IORA is a dynamic organisation of 21 Member States and 7 Dialogue Partners.

In this, the 20th year of IORA’s existence, South Africa will host the 
IORA 17th Council of Ministers Meeting 2017 from 14-18 October, 2017 in Durban, South Africa and assume chairpersonship of the Organization.


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