Hosted by the IORA Chair, the United Arab Emirates in collaboration with the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research and the IORA Secretariat, the 7th IOD was held on 02 – 03 February 2021, virtually.
The 7th Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD) was inaugurated by the H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Dr. Sultan Mohammed Al-Nuaimi, Director General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, and Dr. Gator Hari Gunawan, Acting Secretary General of IORA.
During the keynote address, H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh highlighted the opportunities and challenges emerging for IORA and multilateralism more broadly in a post COVID world. ‘’I hope that this Dialogue can reinforce the trend towards tangible outcomes within IORA as we complete the 2017 to 2021 Action Plan and look to a new Action Plan with refined, high-level priorities’’ said His Excellency.
The proceedings of the 7th Indian Ocean Dialogue 2021 were highlighted by H.E. Dr. Sultan Mohammed Al-Nuaimi, Director General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research which comprised of four sessions exploring several issues. The first session examined ways to enhance regional trade and economic cooperation, while the second explored opportunities for joint maritime security. The third session addressed mechanisms for supporting inclusive healthcare and sustainable development. Finally, the fourth session discussed the future trends likely to shape cooperation within the Indian Ocean region. His Excellency Al-Nuaimi highlighted the UAE’s active cooperation through an integrated action plan that includes several initiatives aimed at consolidating cooperation in many areas. Foremost among these are Maritime Security and Safety, Trade Facilitation and Investment, Commerce, and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
‘’I noted with satisfaction the high level of support from Member States and Dialogue Partners in this 7th IOD and as you are aware the Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD) is an IORA’s flagship initiative that was introduced in IORA, as a recommendation of the 13th Council of Ministers meeting, held in November 2013 in Perth, Australia. It is a Track 1.5 meeting that brings together key stakeholders from governments and think tanks from all Member States and the Dialogue Partner States of IORA’’ highlighted Dr Gatot Hari Gunawan, Acting Secretary General of IORA.
The IOD resulted into dynamic discussions and presentations drawing a special focus to the theme of ‘Fostering a New Era of Cooperation in the Indian Ocean’ for the 7th Edition in 2021. This virtual meeting welcomed more than 80 participants from across the IORA region and 17 speakers from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Oman, and the UAE.
Recognizing the importance of the region’s strengthening architecture, this 1.5 track Forum supports the goals of the IORA Action Plan for 2017-2021, including the endeavor of developing a new Action Plan, which will deepen engagement on research, development, and innovation for a peaceful, stable, prosperous and healthy Indian Ocean region.
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