A Maldivian delegation joined the 10th biannual meeting for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) on Monday.
The three-day virtual meeting, scheduled from June 29 to July 1, is chaired by the United Arab Emirates and held under the theme of "promoting a shared destiny and path to prosperity in the Indian Ocean."
Overall, 22 IORA member states, the association's Secretary-General and specialized agencies are attending the meeting.
The Maldivian delegation is led by Ambassador-at-large Dr Asim Ahmed, Joint Secretary Fathimath Najwa and Assistant Director Ahmed Salman Zaki.
During the course of the meeting, discussions will focus on progress concerning IORA's six priority areas which include maritime safety and security, trade and investment facilitation, fisheries management, academic and scientific cooperation, disaster risk management, tourism promotion and cultural exchanges. Additionally, two cross-cutting topics, blue economy and women's economic empowerment, will be addressed by participants.
Member states will also deliberate on the COVID-19 pandemic, preparations for future meetings and IORA engagements with international partners.
Mauritius-based IORA is an intergovernmental regional organisation providing a forum for member states and dialogue partners to enhance socio-economic cooperation. Established in 1997, it currently comprises of 22 member states and 10 dialogue partners.
Maldives applied for IORA's membership in 2017 and formally became IORA’s 22nd member state in 2019.