The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia and IORA will be hosting the 'Initial Workshop on the establishment of the IORA Maritime Safety and Security Working Group'.
Ever since the establishment of the Maritime Safety and Security (MSS) as one of the six priority areas of IORA in 2011, IORA has been addressing Maritime Safety and Security in the Indian Ocean through a broad range of activities to enhance international cooperation in security and governance to successfully tackle non-traditional challenges faced by the region in MSS. In order to uphold IORA’s objectives of ensuring reliable, uninterrupted and safe movement of people, goods, resources and energy supplies throughout the Indian Ocean rim, it is essential to promote and deepen MSS cooperation; facilitating collective action to deal with natural disasters as well as maritime threats such as piracy and terrorism; and enable engagement among IORA Member States by encouraging greater dialogue and the sharing of best practices.
The IORA Leaders’ Summit held in March 2017, in Indonesia, highlighted the prioritization of these concerns through its theme “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean”. As a concrete step forward, IORA is in the process of establishing a Working Group for MSS, which will provide the mechanism for demarcating the way forward in this important IORA priority area. Sri Lanka, in its capacity as the ‘Coordinator Country’ for MSS in IORA, will host the forthcoming Workshop.
This Workshop will consist of two-day interactive sessions providing a platform for Member States to deliberate upon and finalize the draft Terms of Reference for the Working Group. It will also provide an opportunity for Member States to discuss the way forward and to initiate the development of a regional Work Plan.