Sri Lanka would host the first meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Maritime Safety and Security Working Group (MSSWG), in Colombo on August 8 and 9, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
In a statement, the ministry said the meeting would finalise the Work Plan for two years, advancing the IORA Action Plan 2017-2021 with member states towards developing a
“The IORA is a dynamic inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 22 member States and 09 Dialogue Partners.
Maritime Safety and Security was adopted as one of the six (06) priority areas of IORA during the 11th IORA Council of Ministers (COM) meeting held in November 2011, which recognised the critical economic and strategic relevance of a stable maritime environment in the Indian Ocean Region,” it said.
IORA has been addressing Maritime Safety and Security in the Indian Ocean through a broad range of activities to enhance international cooperation in security and governance to successfully tackle the challenges faced by the region. The IORA MSSWG was established in September 2018 and presently chaired by Sri Lanka for a period of two years. Last year, the Terms of Reference for the Working Group was finalised in Colombo.
“Sri Lanka, with its geo-strategic location as well as its diverse experience in maritime safety and security issues contributes much to this Working Group by way of sharing expertise and experiences. Engagement with IORA aligns with Sri Lanka’s Blue – Green Economy agenda while enhancing cooperation with the Indian Ocean littoral states,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said.