What is IORA?
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an inter-governmental organisation formed in 1997 to foster regional economic cooperation. IORA has evolved into the peak regional grouping to span the Indian Ocean.
From its inception with 14 member states, the membership has expanded to 22 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, the Comoros, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Sultanate of Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. IORA has nine dialogue partners: China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Turkey, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Australia is a founding IORA member and chaired the organisation between 2013 and 2015.
IORA became an observer to the UN General Assembly and the African Union in 2015.
Decisions made within IORA are reached by consensus and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis.
The IORA Secretariat is based in Mauritius. It is headed by a fixed term Secretary-General. More information about IORA is on IORA's official website.
Why is IORA important to Australia?
IORA is the only ministerial forum that covers the Indian Ocean and includes important dialogue partners. Its strategic reach and key members make it a worthy investment for Australian foreign policy. Australia's engagement with IORA bolsters our bilateral and sub-regional relationships, within the broader context of Australia's Indo-Pacific interests. As a founding member of IORA, we support greater economic development and integration across the IORA membership.