|IOR-ARC and IOC agree to reciprocal observer status||
TEHRAN – In a press release issued on Thursday, the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) announced that the association and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) had agreed to reciprocal observer status.
The IOR-ARC, which is the only pan-Indian ocean grouping, has 20 members, namely Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
There are six dialogue partners, namely China, Egypt, France, Japan, and Britain, and the United States, and two observers, namely, the Indian Ocean Research Group and the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization.
The IOC is an intergovernmental organization that joins Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, France (for Réunion and Mayotte), and the Seychelles together to encourage cooperation. The main objectives of the IOC are to promote diplomatic cooperation and to strengthen economic and commercial ties among the Indian Ocean islands.
Following is the text of the IOR-ARC press release:
The President of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Council of Ministers and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Seychelles, H.E. Mr. Jean Paul Adam, had invited the Chair of the IOR-ARC Council of Ministers and Minister of External Affairs of India, H.E. Mr. Salman Khurshid, the Vice Chair of the IOR-ARC Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary to the Australian Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr. Richard Marles and the Secretary General of the IOR-ARC, H.E. Ambassador K. V. Bhagirath, to attend the 28th Session of the Indian Ocean Commission Council of Ministers meeting which was held in the Seychelles on the 17th January 2013. This participation by Senior IOR-ARC Officials gave H.E. Minister Adam the opportunity to announce the agreed reciprocal Observer Status between the two esteemed organizations.
The decision to pursue reciprocal Observer Status between the two organizations was taken at the 12th Meeting of the IOR-ARC Council of Ministers, in Gurgaon, India, in November 2012.
The IOR-ARC and IOC are sister organizations that are both working towards the development of the region and for the upliftment of its respective communities. This collaboration between IOR-ARC and IOC may therefore assist to develop policies and programs among the Member States in focus areas such as sustainable development, the enhancement of economic and trade relations, social, cultural and tourism promotion which would be mutually beneficial to the Member States of both Organizations. Furthermore, the objective of having an Observer Status between the two organizations would result in much closer collaboration in the promotion of the Region’s interests with specific reference to the development and protection of small islands developing states, as well as LDC’s.
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