Dhaka Bureau Policy Times : Workshop to review progress on the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Action Plan 2017-2021 as well as the preparation of a new IORA Action Plan (2022-2026):
A workshop to review progress on the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Action Plan 2017-2021 as well as the preparation of a new IORA Action Plan (2022-2026) held virtually on 20-21 October 2020. Senior Officials from the 22 member states of IORA participated in the eight working sessions of the two days long Workshop hosted by the United Arab Emirates, the current Chair. Foreign Secretary H.E. Mr. Masud Bin Momen led the Bangladesh Delegation as Vice Chair in the inaugural session. Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md. Khurshed Alam, Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit), Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attended in the Workshop as the Senior Official Representative from Bangladesh.
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In his opening remarks, Foreign Secretary highlighted that IORA has evolved into a forum that has started to address regional and global issues of both human security and human development across several continents. He underscored that the new Action Plan (2022-2026) should be inclusive, comprehensive, feasible and aligned to the objectives of the IORA following the path of the current Action Plan (2017-21). He urged the member states to share the lessons learned during the phase of the current Action Plan so that IORA remains relevant in a fast-changing world especially in the post-pandemic period by increasing its efficiencies and formulating a dynamic road map of cooperation.
During the Workshop, Bangladesh, as the Vice-Chair, took the lead on the process of developing the new Action Plan since Bangladesh will become the Chair (2021-2023) at the time of the implementation of the new Action Plan. Bangladesh also highlighted new priority areas to be identified and coordinated by the IORA Secretariat, based on developments and needs of Member States specially for turning the Indian Ocean into opportunities for socio-economic development of the people of the Indian Ocean Rim region. The schematic framework for the new Action Plan was developed during the Workshop.