Bangladesh to propose ‘IORA-Dhaka Development Initiative’: Momen
DHAKA, Nov 14, 2021 (BSS) –
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said
Bangladesh will propose ‘IORA-Dhaka Development Initiative (IORA-DDI)’ for
inclusive regional development as Dhaka is set to host the 21st Council of
Ministers (COM) meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) on Wednesday.
“We will seek assistance of our Dialogue Partners for making IORA-DDI as
an important tool for ensuring inclusive development in the region,” he told
media at a curtain raiser briefing of the event at foreign ministry today.
The foreign minister said the IORA-DDI is for enhancing capacity building
through offering practical training, on-the job learning and physical
demonstration in the areas where Bangladesh has specialization and expertise.
“The Indian Ocean is a huge matter … we have a policy that in the Indian
Ocean will be open, free, and inclusive and we do not want to see a single
dominance here,” he said.
Dr Momen said Dhaka expects that 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.
“So that we promote sustainable Blue Economy in the region,” 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 are expected to join in-person while another eight to ten
Ministers or junior ministers will join virtually.
“In total, around 80 delegates are coming to Dhaka to participate in the
meetings and they all are expected to meet our Hon’ble Prime Minister (Sheikh
Hasina),” Dr Momen said.
Before the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM), the IORA’s
apex body that meets annually, the 23rd Committee of Senior Officials’
meeting will be held on Nov 15-26.
IORA has six Priority and two Focus Areas namely Maritime Safety and
Security, Fisheries Management, Trade and Investment Facilitation, Disaster
Risk Management, Tourism & Cultural Exchanges, Academic, Science and
Technological Cooperation, Blue Economy and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Since the establishment of IORA in 1997, Bangladesh is first time elected as
Chair for the period 2021-2023.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh is assuming the Chairmanship with the theme
‘Harnessing the opportunities of Indian Ocean sustainably for inclusive
development’,” said Dr Momen.
“During our tenure, we vow to address all the challenges by capitalizing
our strengths and turning our weaknesses into strengths to place IORA in the
World Map as one of the most effective and dignified organizations,” said the
Dhaka’s aim will be to move together as a region, he added.
He said the Indian Ocean region is warming at a higher rate, which means
the relative sea level can also increase over the regions and it will
contribute to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-level areas
and coastal erosion.
Considering the gravity of the crisis and unifying role of IORA in this
regard, Bangladesh will propose a platform for Climate Change within the
framework of IORA, he added.
IORA is going to get a new Secretary General in this meeting. He is also
coming to Bangladesh and will be introduced to the Council of Ministers.
“We hope that under his leadership we will be able make remarkable
progress,” he added.
In presence of 12 ministerial level delegations, the Meeting is expected
to showcase Bangladesh’s hospitality and offer good image of Bangladesh.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Marine Affairs unit Secretary Rear
Admiral Khurshed Alam also spoke at the event.
Alam said a new IORA action plan for 2022-27 is ready to approve at this
Apart from six main issues, he said, an interactive dialogue on COVID19 and
vaccination challenge is also scheduled to discussed in the ministerial