Top Stories : H.E. Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister, as the representative of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, attended the Leaders’ Summit in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Rim Association
On 7 March 2017, H.E. Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, as a representative of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, led the Thai delegation at the Leaders’ Summit in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Jakarta, Republic of Indonesia. H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia Chaired the Summit with Leaders or High-level Representatives from 21 member countries attending the Summit.
The event is the organization’s first Summit to be held since its establishment in 1997 under the theme “Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean.” The Leaders signed the Jakarta Concord to express Member States’ determination to achieve sustainable development and inclusive growth in the Indian Ocean region, as well as the promotion of stability and safety at sea. The meeting adopted the IORA Action Plan
2017 – 2021, guiding IORA’s cooperation for the next 5 years, and the Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism as a statement against terrorism undermining the economic development in the region adopted by the Council of Ministers.
At the Summit, Thailand submitted 3 key issues that need to be addressed by IORA. 1) "Sustainability", Thailand highlighted the potential sustainable growth of IORA by fully utilizing the resources, geopolitical advantage of the Indian Ocean, and the knowledge and expertise of all 21 member countries to develop a sustainable and responsible Blue Economy. 2) "Connectivity", Thailand expressed her readiness and potential to develop land and maritime infrastructures to become the region’s logistics and transportation hub, linking the maritime connectivity between the Indian and the Pacific Ocean. Geographically located at the center of CLMV and ASEAN, Thailand can be IORA's gateway to the global supply and value chain and many other Asian opportunities such as market, investment, services, tourism, and logistics connectivity. Thailand also proposed that IORA member countries join hands in drafting a connectivity master plan in the Indian Ocean region to link and harmonize existing connectivity projects. 3) "Peace”, Thailand stressed the importance of the promotion of maritime security and safety as vital foundation for the economic development and sustainability as well as the security and safety of the region. In this regard, Thailand has proposed the meeting to consider one additional cross-cutting issue, which is the 'Youth Partnership'.
IORA is a regional forum which promotes multifaceted cooperation of the 21 Indian Ocean Rim states from Australia to South East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa under the 6 areas of cooperation, namely, (1) Maritime Safety and Security, (2) Fisheries Management, (3) Trade and Investment Facilitation, (4) Disaster Risk Management, (5) Academic, Science and Technology Cooperation, and (6) Tourism and Cultural Exchanges. IORA also gives priority to Blue Economy and Women’s Economic Empowerment as two cross-cutting issues