Declaration of the Indian Ocean Rim Association on the principles for peaceful, productive and sustainable use of the Indian Ocean and its resources
1 November 2013
WE, the Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, on the occasion of the thirteenth Council of Ministers' Meeting (COMM)
- REITERATING that IORA is the apex pan-regional organisation for the Indian Ocean.
- RECALLING the six priority areas of cooperation agreed at the eleventh COMM in Bengaluru, namely: Maritime Safety and Security; Trade and Investment Facilitation; Fisheries Management; Disaster Risk Management; Academic and Science and Technology Cooperation; and Tourism and Cultural Exchanges.
- RECALLING ALSO our desire to promote the sustainable growth and balanced development of the Indian Ocean region and IORA Member States, and to create common ground for regional economic cooperation.
- COMMITTED to promoting cooperation and collaboration between IORA and other Indian Ocean regional stakeholders including Dialogue Partner States and other regional and international forums.
- REAFFIRMING our commitment to the Charter of the United Nations, to the Charter of IORA, and to the applicable principles of international law.
- REAFFIRMING ALSO our commitment to 'The Future We Want', as adopted at the 2012 United Nation as Conference on Sustainable Development, and to the protection, restoration, health, productivity and resilience of the Indian Ocean and its resources.
- RECOGNISING that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources and plays a vital role in maintaining peaceful cooperation and stability across the Indian Ocean.
HEREBY DECLARE AS FOLLOWS:
That the Member States of IORA are guided by the following principles for productive and sustainable use of the Indian Ocean and its resources:
- Recognition of the importance of the Indian Ocean's biodiversity, including its marine life and ecosystems.
- Commitment to the conservation and sustainable use of the Indian Ocean and its resources in accordance with international law, including fisheries stocks, water and seabed resources and other marine life; and commitment to deliver on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.
- Recognition of the important contribution of the conservation and sustainable use of the Indian Ocean and its resources to poverty eradication, sustained economic growth, food security and creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work.
- Recognition of the importance of building the capacity of countries to conserve, sustainably manage and realise the benefits of sustainable fisheries.
- Commitment to intensify efforts, individually and collectively, to take the measures necessary to maintain or restore all fish stocks to levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield.
- Commitment to understand and address the main threats to the Indian Ocean and its resources, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, unsustainable fishing practices, loss of critical coastal ecosystems and the adverse impacts of pollution, ocean acidification, marine debris, and invasive species on the marine environment.
- Recognition of the importance of building the capacity of countries to understand, forecast and address marine, ocean and climate science issues in the Indian Ocean.
ADOPTED by the Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association on 1 November 2013 in Perth, Australia.