1. We the Heads of State/Government, and other representatives, of the Member States of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA): the Commonwealth of Australia, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Union of Comoros, the Republic of India, the Republic of Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Madagascar, Malaysia, the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of Mozambique, the Sultanate of Oman, the Republic of Seychelles, the Republic of Singapore, the Federal Republic of Somalia, the Republic of South Africa, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Kingdom of Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Yemen on the occasion of the Leaders’ Summit held in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the IORA held in Jakarta, Indonesia;
2. Recalling the fundamental principles and objectives of the IORA Charter;
3. Adhering to the rights and obligations under international law including those under the Charter of the United Nations and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
4. Recalling also the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2832 (XXVI) on the “Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace” to maintain peace and stability in the region and to establish the Zone of Peace;
5. Emphasising our commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on strengthening our cooperation that no one will be left behind in the achievement of sustained growth and sustainable development in this strategically vital region;
6. Noting the historical and cultural bonds among our peoples and the diversity of the peoples in the region, which offer vast opportunities to enhance various areas of economic cooperation;
7. Respecting the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, non-interference in internal affairs of other states, peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit guiding relations and interactions among IORA Member States;
8. Recognizing the achievements of the past 20 years of IORA and the opportunities we have to build on these and to address common challenges facing the Indian Ocean, for the welfare of our future generations;
9. Affirming our commitment to build a more peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean region through enhanced cooperation, including but not limited to the six priority areas: maritime safety and security; trade and investment facilitation; fisheries management; disaster risk management; academic, science and technology cooperation; tourism and cultural exchanges; and the cross-cutting issue of women’s empowerment;
10. Recognising the importance of moderation as an approach to counter all forms of extremism and promote dialogue, mutual respect, understanding, and social harmony, thereby contributing towards the achievement of sustainable and inclusive development, equitable growth, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region;
11. Convinced of the significance of the Blue Economy as a driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development in the Indian Ocean region;
12. Acknowledging that the coastal areas and maritime waters of the Indian Ocean bind the region together and link it to other regions of the world, and that it is therefore essential to maintain maritime safety and security for peace, stability and sustainable economic growth and development in the region;
13. Reaffirming that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are central to realising inclusive and sustainable economic growth;
14. Recognising the importance of Dialogue Partners to advance the objectives of the Association; and
15. Underscoring the importance of regional synergies and cooperation to promote peace, stability and prosperity.
16. We commit ourselves to:
- Promoting Maritime Safety and Security in the region by:
- enhancing cooperation in preventing and managing accidents and incidents at sea and promoting effective coordination between IORA member states’ aeronautical and maritime search and rescue services;
- encouraging the sharing of expertise and resources to reduce substandard shipping and manage risks to the safety of vessels and the marine environments of the Indian Ocean region;
- strengthening regional cooperation to address transboundary challenges, including piracy, armed robberies at sea, terrorism, trafficking in persons, people smuggling, irregular movement of persons, illicit drugs trafficking, illicit trafficking in wildlife, crimes in the fisheries sector, and environmental crimes; and
- ensuring that countries in the region can exercise freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS, as constitution for the Oceans.
- Enhancing Trade and Investment cooperation in the region by:
- encouraging greater intra-IORA flow of goods, services, investment, and technology as a stimulus to further develop and grow our economies sustainably;
- exploring ways to improve the production capacity, competitiveness, and value addition of products from the region;
- promoting public-private partnership in infrastructure development;
- strengthening the involvement of the private sector, in particular SMEs, through regular dialogues and interactions between Governments and businesses, including women owned businesses;
- continuing regulatory reforms to encourage competitiveness and innovation and promote ease of doing business;
- improving connectivity (institutional, physical, and people-to-people) in the Indian Ocean region, including facilitating the movement of businesspersons;
- recognising the importance to regional economic growth and skills development of producing value added goods and increasing participation in global value chains;
- promoting shipping, ports, transport and logistic alliances within the region and with other regions in the world; and
- encouraging the development of standards suitable to IORA Member States, taking into account international and national standards.
- Promoting sustainable and responsible fisheries management and development by:
- enhancing science-based management and conservation of marine living resources, including through supporting and strengthening the work of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs), and enhancing regional and international mechanism to combat IUU fishing;
- promoting environmentally sustainable practices in aquaculture, marine capture fisheries, and post-harvest technology.
- increasing technical assistance and capacity building in fostering and strengthening protection and preservation of the coastal and marine environment; and
- supporting measures to increase the capacity of small-scale fishers in line with sustainable fisheries practices so as to promote and facilitate trade in fish and fisheries products as well as the access of this products in global markets in order to improve their livelihoods.
- Enhancing disaster risk management in the region by:
- acknowledging the vulnerability of coastal and Small Island Developing States due to climate change and ocean acidification and working together to implement the provisions of the Paris Agreement on climate change;
- strengthening regional disaster preparedness, community resilience, and disaster risk management in accordance with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction;
- improving geodetic data-sharing, methods and infrastructure and further developing integrated early warning systems in the region for forecasting and communicating disaster-related risks and hazards; and
- Enhancing cooperation with stakeholders in addressing issues related to disaster and climate change through capacity building including sharing of information, experiences and best practices to improve community resilience to minimize disruption of economic activities.
- Strengthening academic, science and technology cooperation by:
- increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, among research and development institutions and academics;
- increasing opportunities for accessible and affordable scholarships and capacity-building to further human development, with a particular focus on the challenges of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS);
- promoting sharing and collaboration in technology and innovation and in the implementation of
e- Government and other Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) solutions in the region; and
- strengthening the IORA-Regional Centre for Science & Technology Transfer (IORA-RCSTT) and the Fisheries Support Unit (FSU) to better perform their mandates.
- Fostering tourism and cultural exchanges by:
- increasing people-to-people interaction to promote regional economic growth;
- encouraging the sustainable development of community-based tourism and eco-tourism;
- promoting cultural heritage and harnessing the economic potential of this heritage, including World Heritage properties and sites; and
- cooperating and sharing experiences for the sustainable development of tourism
- Augmenting regional connectivity by encouraging direct flights and shipping services including cruises by encouraging investment in requisite infrastructure.
- Harnessing and developing cross cutting issues and priority objectives by:
- developing the opportunity of the oceans by promoting the Blue Economy as a key source of inclusive economic growth, job creation and education, based on the evidence-based sustainable management of marine resources;
- promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, ensure women’s rights, access, and opportunities for participation and leadership in the economy and to eliminate violence and discrimination against women and girls in all its forms as the prosperity of the region will only be realised fully by investing in the empowerment of women and girls.
- enhancing cooperation in promoting the culture of democracy, good governance, combating corruption, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- Broadening IORA’s external engagement by:
- enhancing and deepening cooperation with Dialogue Partners, including sharing of technical expertise and other resources for mutual benefit;
- expanding collaboration with countries outside the region and relevant regional and international organizations based on mutual interest to increase the profile of IORA at international fora; and
- expanding and deepening engagement with non-government stakeholders, including civil society, chambers of commerce, media and youth of the region in order to enhance people-to-people interaction for mutual understanding, trust and community-building in the region.
- Strengthening IORA’s institutions by:
- providing adequate resources to the IORA Secretariat; and
- enhancing and strengthening the role of IORA specialized agencies.
We do hereby acknowledge:
17. The contribution of the Secretariat to managing, coordinating and implementing the policy decisions and work programmes of IORA.
18. The IORA Action Plan that was welcomed by the Council of Ministers Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia in March 2017 which is in the spirit of the IORA Concord.
19. The Government of the Republic of Indonesia, as the current Chair of IORA, for the leadership and initiative to hold the First IORA Leaders’ Summit and the excellent hospitality and arrangements for the 20th Anniversary Celebrations.
Signed by the Heads of State/Government of the IORA Member States in Jakarta, Indonesia, this seventh day of March in the Year Two Thousand Seventeen, in a single original copy, in the English language.
Adopted by the First IORA Summit held in Jakarta, Indonesia on the seventh day of March 2017.