19 95

Late President Nelson Mandela, as the founding father, proposes his vision of an Indian Ocean rim for socio economic cooperation and otherpeaceful endeavors.


First International Meeting of Experts held in Grand Bay, Mauritius to discuss the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative (IORI) with the founding Member States namely Australia, India, Kenya, Mauritius, Oman, Singapore and South Africa known as the "founding members" or the M-7.

19 96

Finalisation of a Charter for the creation of the Association at the Second Inter-Governmental Meeting (IGM) on the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in September and seven more countries joined namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique.

19 97

Launch of the Association known as Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) and adoption of the Charter during the First Ministerial Meeting held in Grand Bay, Mauritius, and attended by fourteen Member States. : Australia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Yemen. Foreign Ministers’ Meetings were held biennially.


The Working Group on Membership (WG) met in Mauritius in November 1997 to examine “all issues relating to membership and forms of Aassociation in other capacities such as observership, guest status, and dialogue partnership.”

19 98

A Pilot Coordination Mechanism (PCM) (Interim Secretariat), based in Vacoas, Mauritius was created for coordination, servicing and monitoring of implementation of policy decisions as well as for administrative matters,. H.E. Mr Kailash Ruhee (Mauritius) appointed as the First Director.

19 99

Bangladesh, Iran, Seychelles, Thailand and United Arab Emirates joined the Association as Member States along with Dialogue Partners, Egypt and Japan. The PCM was upgraded to a ‘Coordinating Secretariat’.

20 00

An Instrument of Acceptance was adopted to enable new members to join the association.

20 01

Signature of Headquarters Agreement between IOR-ARC and the government of Mauritius in Port Louis for the setting up of the Coordinating Secretariat in Mauritius. Legalised the diplomatic status of IOR-ARC Secretariat and its personnel.


France joined as Dialogue Partner.

20 03

Council of Ministers (COM) decided to meet annually instead of biennially.

20 04

The First IOR-ARC Specialised Agency – The Fisheries Support Unit (FSU),based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman – was created to to manage and spearhead efforts to identify and discuss key fisheries-related issues in the Indian Ocean rim region.

20 06

Establishment of the Special Fund as a mechanism to implement projects and programs of the Association.

First meeting of the Working Group of Heads of Mission in Pretoria, South Africa was held to progress IORA’s agenda between Ministerial Meetings

20 08

Establishment of the Regional Centre for Science and Technology (RCSTT) in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran to support Applied Research, Development And Management and signing of MoU for the Establishment of the IORA
Regional Centre for Science and
Technology (RCSTT) in Iran.

20 09

IORA Secretariat Premise Relocation - The IORA Secretariat premises move from Soreze House in Vacoas, Mauritius to Ebene, Mauritius.

20 10

Late President Nelson Mandela, as the founding father, proposes his vision of an Indian Ocean rim for socio economic cooperation and otherpeaceful endeavors

20 11

Revitalization of IOR-ARC by adoption of six new priority areas in the Council of Ministers, Bengaluru, India

Seychelles re-joined the Association as a Member State.


20 12

Inauguration of the new Secretariat premises in Ebene, Mauritius by H.E Dr Arvind Boolell, Foreign Minister of Mauritius

India contributes USD$1 Million to the Special Fund, along with other Member States and Dialogue Partners including Australia, Iran, Indonesia, Oman, UAE, Yemen and China The Union of Comoros joined as Member State and the United States of America as a Dialogue Partner.

20 13

IOR-ARC was renamed IORA, the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

First Ministerial Meeting was held on Trade and Investment (The Economic and Business Conference or EBC-I) in Mauritius and issued a joint communique to strengthen trade relations.

First Ministerial Declaration issued on ‘Principles For Peaceful Productive And Sustainable Use Of The Indian Ocean And Its Resources’ in Perth, Australia

First Ministerial Retreat held in the sidelines of the COM Meeting, Perth, Australia to explore and reflect on key issues

Women’s Economic Empowerment was identified as a cross-cutting area by Foreign Ministers.

20 14

Sectoral meeting at ministerial level heldon:Renewable energy: First meeting of the renewable energy ministerial forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE which produced the Abu Dhabi Declaration.

20 15

A Ministerial Maritime Cooperation Declaration was issued by the Council of Ministers, Padang, Indonesia

20 16

Ministerial Declaration on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment issued in Bali, Indonesia

20 17

Three strategic documents were issued during the celebrations at the Leaders’ Summit: 

  • The Jakarta Concord, the Indian Ocean Rim Association: Promoting Regional Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean 
  • The IORA Action Plan for 2017-2021 
  • The Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism


Signing of MoU on a Collaborative Framework between IORA and the Non-Aligned Movement for SouthSouth Technical Co-operation (NAM

20 18

Initial Workshop on the establishment of the IORA Maritime Safety and Security Working Group, September 2018 - Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Maldives joined IORA as a Member State. Turkey and Korea joined IORA as Dialogue Partner.

Signing of the MoU between IORA and InternationalSolar Alliance for SustainableDevelopment and Deployment of Solar Energy (ISA).

Signing of the MoU between the United Nations Institute for Training Research and IORA.

20 19

Strategic Planning Workshop to deepen IORA’s strategic and economic partnerships in the region and elsewhere and thereby pave the way forward for important reforms.

Signing of MoU between IORA and Research andInformation System for DevelopingCountries (RIS)

20 20

First Virtual Meeting of the IORA Cluster Group on Fisheries Management (CGFM): 23 June 2020.

France on account of La Reunion joined IORA as a Member State.

Signing of the MoU between IORA and France through the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement) (AFD) for Strengthening the Capacities of IORA in promoting the Blue Economy and Fisheries Management.

Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) Statement on IORA Solidarity and Cooperation in response to COVID-19.

20 21

Russia joined IORA as a Dialogue Partner

IORA Guidelines for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).

Adoption of the Second Action Plan (2022-2027).

20 22

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia joined as a Dialogue Partner.

First iteration of the Nelson Mandela Internship Programme (NMIP) to create a strong and growing base of young people in the Indian Ocean Region that understand and support the need to safeguard an Indian Ocean that is safe, secure and develops sustainably.

Establishment of the IORA Secretariat Library - Mahatma Gandhi Library.

IORA releases IORA Gender Pledge on International Women's Day 2022.

Adoption of the Strategic Framework of Action on Marine Debris in the Indian Ocean.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between IORA and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and IORA.

Inclusion of the paragraphs on IORA in the UNGA resolutions (attached) as follows: 

  • a) Operative paragraph 226: Resolution on Law of the Sea

“Welcomes the adoption of the IORA Strategic Framework of Action on Marine Debris in Indian Ocean on November 2022 and encourages the effective implementation by IORA Member States of the Strategic Framework to comprehensively combat marine plastic debris in Indian Ocean, with the support of IORA Dialogue Partners and other international and regional organization”. 


  • b) Operative paragraph 112: Resolution on Sustainable Fisheries

“Acknowledges the efforts of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Member States in developing IORA Guideline to prevent, deter and combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Indian Ocean, initiated by the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of France, aiming to achieve sustainable growth and balanced development for the livelihood of coastal States in the Indian Ocean region”.

20 23

European Union joined IORA as a Dialogue Partner.

High-Level Strategic Dialogue on IORA’s 25-Years - Reflection, Review & Renewal to engage in frank strategic discussions to determine the future direction of the Association to enhance regional cooperation activities in key areas.

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between IORA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between IORA and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC of UNESCO)to strengthen partnership on ocean sciences.