Zarif to Attend IORA Meeting

Zarif to Attend IORA MeetingZarif to Attend IORA Meeting

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will take part in the 15th meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association in Indonesia on October 23.  

The event is part of the Council of Ministers Meeting and other related meetings, which is scheduled to take place on October 20-23 in Padang, IRNA reported.  The Indian Ocean Rim Association is an international organization consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean, of which Iran is a member.  

The highest authority of the association rests with the COM which meets annually or more often to formulate policies, review cooperation, make decisions on new areas of cooperation and decide on the establishment of additional mechanisms and specialized agencies, among other things.  

The council elects a chair and vice chair for the association for two-year terms, upon voluntary offers by member states. In case there is no voluntary offer, the chair is elected based on geographical considerations.

Iran chaired the association from 2006 to 2008 and hosted the sixth, seventh and eighth meeting of the Council of Ministers.  Australia has been chairing the IORA since 2013 and is going to be replaced by Indonesia as of the October meeting. Indonesia will oversee the association until 2017.

The IORA was first established as an initiative by Mauritius on March 1995 and formally launched its activity in March 1997 upon the conclusion of a multilateral treaty known as the Charter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.  

The association has 20 members, including Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.  It also has six dialog partners, including China, Egypt, France, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. The Indian Ocean Tourism Organization and the Indian Ocean Research Group have observer status.  

The organization aims to promote sustainable growth and balanced development in the region with a focus on economic areas that provide maximum opportunities for development and promotion of shared interests. Promoting liberalization and removing impediments and barriers to set the stage for enhanced flow of goods and provision of services in the region are among other objectives of the IORA.