The Initial Workshop on the establishment of the IORA Maritime Safety and Security Working Group was held by Sri Lanka as the current Coordinating Country for Maritime Safety and Security (MSS) in IORA on 4 – 5 September 2018, with Australia as co-host.
The Workshop saw an impressive gathering of participants and speakers from 17 IORA Member States (Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE and Yemen), and IORA Secretariat officials.
During the two days of this Workshop, active discussions were held on the formulation and finalization of the Terms of Reference (TORs) of the Working Group on Maritime Safety and Security (WGMSS). The TORs addressed greater regional cooperation, sharing of best practices, improved coordination among relevant stakeholders, and enhancement of capability and capacity building, among other possibilities. The meeting also discussed the initiation of a draft WGMSS Work Plan, thereby signalling the serious intent of IORA Member States to build on the momentum of the Workshop through concrete actions.
Building on the momentum of the IORA Leaders’ Summit in 2017 and further to the IORA Action Plan 2017 – 2021, this Workshop provided an insightful and stimulating program of events. This Workshop resulted in a historic milestone towards building a suitable MSS architecture in the Indian Ocean region based on inclusive and consensus-based cooperation among the IORA Member States.