At this meeting, Indonesia will succeed Australia as IORA Chair for the period 2015 – 2017. Significantly, South Africa will become the Vice Chair and a member of the Association’s Troika, along with Indonesia and Australia, and will Chair IORA from 2017-2019.
Key issues that the Ministerial meeting is expected to address include:
- The initiation of preparations for the commemoration of 20 years of IORA in 2017 and the strategic outlook for the Association.
- The Association will welcome the Federal Republic of Somalia as its 21st Member, and the Federal Republic of Germany as its 7th Dialogue Partner – attesting to the fact of the growth trajectory the Association has been on.
- Further enhancement of regionalism and greater engagement with the Association’s Dialogue Partners.
- The Blue Economy as a key IORA focus to harness oceans and maritime resources to drive economic growth, job creation and innovation, while safeguarding sustainability and environmental protection.
- Progress on IORA’s six priority areas, namely (i) maritime safety and security, (ii) disaster risk management, (iii) trade and investment facilitation, (iv) fisheries management, (v) academic, science and technology cooperation, and (vi) tourism and cultural exchanges.
- Gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as a cross-cutting issue.