IORA is very grateful for your commitment and energy with which you managed the IORA Secretariat so successfully.
Because of his and others sacrifices, South Africa now takes pride of place in leading international organisations and regional formations such as the IORA and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
For this reason, we have adopted the following, as the theme of our chairship: IORA uniting the peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East through enhanced co-operation for peace, stability and sustainable development.
In strengthening the work programme of the Association, South Africa will work towards enhancing the implementation of the Jakarta Concord and IORA Plan of Action (2017 2021), which was adopted at the Leaders Summit in Indonesia in March 2017.
In this regard it will be important to ensure that the institutional mechanisms reflect the ongoing changes globally and within IORA, and we look forward to strengthening the Academic component of the Association, as well as the further strengthening of the Business Forum and Working Group on Trade and Investment.
We also look forward to an increased focus on Tourism, a critical sector with enormous opportunities for enhanced cooperation towards improved economic growth and development within IORA.
During the Council meeting, South Africa assumed the Chair of IORA and the meeting was used successfully to advance South Africas priorities for its time as IORA Chair from 2017 to 2019, including the African Unions 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) and Agenda 2063.
The Council meeting took place under the theme IORA uniting the peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia, and the Middle East through enhanced cooperation for peace, stability and sustainable development.
The meeting was significant in that it was the first meeting since the historic IORA Leaders 20th Commemorative Summit in March 2017 that President Zuma attended.
The Council meeting was an opportune time to build further momentum in our efforts to strengthen the Association and its work programme, particularly the IORA Action Plan (2017-2021), which provides a firm set of realistic and measurable commitments to take IORA forward and become more outcomes orientated.
We were humbled by the Councils appointment of South Africas Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe, South Africas former High Commissioner to Mauritius, as the next Secretary-General of IORA.
Ambassador K V Bhagirath, Secretary-General of IORA
, thanked the UAE for hosting this event and appreciated its efforts in promoting regional cooperation within IORA