Indian Ocean Rim Association: An Overview for UPSC

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an international body comprising the coastal countries that border the Indian Ocean. This article talks about the IORA and its importance for the IAS ExamInternational organisations and groupings are an important part of the International Relations section of the General Studies paper-2 and Geography section of General Studies paper-1.

Aspirants can find information on the structure and other important details related to the IAS Exam,in the linked article.

What is the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)? 

  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) was previously named the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative.
  • It was also called the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation or the IOR-ARC for short.
  • It is a regional tripartite forum that gathers government representatives, academia and business leaders for encouraging cooperation and greater interaction between them. 
  • The organisation is founded upon the values of open regionalism for boosting economic cooperation especially on the realms of trade facilitation, investment, the region’s social development and promotion.
  • Currently, it has 22 member states. 
  • The IORA was formed in March 1997. 
  • The idea for the IORA was formed by India and South Africa.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) –  Member Countries

The nation members of the IORA are marked in the map given below:

IORA Member Countries

Member Countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association
Australia Madagascar Seychelles
Bangladesh Malaysia Singapore
Comoros Maldives South Africa
India Mauritius Sri Lanka
Indonesia Somalia Tanzania
Iran Mozambique Thailand
Kenya Oman Yemen
United Arab Emirates
Dialogue Partners of the Indian Ocean Rim Association
China Germany United States
Egypt Japan Turkey
France United Kingdom South Korea

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) – Objectives

  • Promoting balanced development and sustainable growth in the regions of the Member States.
  • Considering areas that provide maximum opportunities for development through economic cooperation.
  • Other objectives to help member countries achieve an enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology include:
    • Promoting liberalisation
    • Removing impediments
    • Lowering barriers 

Indian Ocean Dialogue – (IOD)

The Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD) is a flagship initiative of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), with its origins in the 13th Council of Ministers meeting, held in November 2013 in Perth, Australia.

Also read Colombo Declaration

IORA Sustainable Development Program (ISDP)

The ISDP is a project-based program intended to meet the needs of the Member States of the IORA. Project proposals are formulated by the Member countries in collaboration with IORA Secretariat. As an instrument of sustainable development, the ISDP Program is expected to strengthen regional cooperation and forge new partnerships within the IORA Member States and with Dialogue Partners.

ISDP Objectives:

  • Encouraging lesser developed member countries to participate in IORA.
  • Encouraging capacity building, peer-to-peer learning and sharing of information to IORA member countries.
  • Enhancing and strengthening bonds amongst member countries.
  • Extending opportunities to lesser developed member countries to share their experience and expertise in specific areas that would benefit their economies.
  • Encouraging less developed member countries to host various IORA events.

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) – Council of Members Meeting 2019

  • Held in Abu Dhabi under the theme ‘Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean’.
  • The UAE was declared Chair and Bangladesh was declared Vice-Chair for the period 2019-2021.
  • India published guidelines for Disaster Risk Management. India also encouraged partners to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure that was launched in the United Nations in 2019. 
  • The Indian navy launched the Information Fusion Centre in Gurugram to assist member countries of the Indian Ocean Region with real-time crisis information. With this, India is aiming at becoming a net provider of information. Countries that are part of this information support structure of India are:
    • Maldives
    • Mauritius
    • Seychelles
    • Sri Lanka
    • Bangladesh

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus 2020 page.

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