Bangladesh assumes IORA chair, Russia added as dialogue partner
DHAKA, Nov 17, 2021 (BSS) –
Bangladesh today assumed chairmanship of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) while Russia was added as new dialogue partner at its 21st Council of Ministers (COM) meeting concluded here with in-person presence of ministers and state ministers of 11 countries.
“This event is very special to Bangladesh as this time in Dhaka we assumed the chairmanship of the IORA … and we are very pleased to have numbers of ministers in-person even amid the pandemic ” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told media this evening at a briefing after concluding the meeting at Hotel InterContinental here.
He said the member states have decided to take up Russia as the 10th dialogue partner of IORA during the COM. “I welcome Russia as the new dialogue partner of the IORA,” he added.
IORA is an inter-governmental regional organisation with 23 Member States and 9 Dialogue Partners aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region.
More than 15 IORA Member States of IORA with 11 Ministerial level delegations joined in-person while others joined virtually.
Under the theme of 21st COM, “Harnessing the opportunities of the Indian Ocean sustainability for inclusive development”, Bangladesh today proposed propose ‘IORA-Dhaka Development Initiative (IORA-DDI)’ for inclusive regional development.
The foreign minister said the COM established a working group on disaster risk management under the coordination of India. “We also finalized IORA guidelines for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief,” he said.
An interactive Strategic Dialogue between Member states and Dialogue partners was held on ‘Impact of COVID-19 and perspective of economic recovery in the Indian Ocean Region’.
Dr Momen said at the dialogue all IORA members put emphasis to get COVID vaccine equally in reasonable price. “We (Bangladesh) reiterated our demand to declare the COVID vaccine as global public good as well as ensure its equal distribution,” he added.
The foreign minister said the COVID dialogue at the COM was effective as major vaccine manufacturers like the US, UK and China are the IORA dialogue partners while India is one of its members.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh also reiterated its position regarding Indo pacific region saying that Dhaka would like to see open, free, and inclusive Indian Ocean without any particular dominance.
He said IORA would chalk out its own vision of the Indo-Pacific, a vision for a free, open, peaceful, secure and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on international law and shared prosperity for all.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Marine Affairs unit Secretary of the foreign ministry Rear Admiral Khurshed Alam also spoke at the briefing.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Comoros Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of South Africa Dr Pandor, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Prof G.L Peiris, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania Mashimba Mashuri Ndaki, Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries of Tanzania Abdullah Hussein Kombo,
Minister of State for South Asia, United Nations and the Commonwealth of FCDO, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Chief Administrative Secretary of Kenya Ababu Namwamba, Permanent Secretary of Madagascar Ratsimandau Tahirimiakadaza,
State Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia Belal Mohamed Cusman and Deputy Assistant Secretary of USA Ambassador Kelly Keiderling attended the COM in-person here.