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As per the IORA Charter and Rules of Procedure, any organisation interested to become an Observer of the Association is required to submit a formal request to the Chair of IORA or the Secretary General of IORA. The Council of Ministers may grant the status of Observer to other Organisations, having the capacity and interest to contribute to IORA. The applicant is to adhere to the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the Association.

The Indian Ocean Research Group (IORG)

The Council of Ministers, in its meeting held in Sanaá, Yemen on 5 August 2010, adopted that the Indian Ocean Research Group (IORG) be granted Observer Status to IORA and welcomed the interest and participation of IORG in the activities of the Association.

IORG has been involved in the following activities with IORA:

  • International Symposium IORA 20th Anniversary on Learning from the Past and Charting the Future Yogyakarta, Indonesia - 14-15th September 2016;
  • Indian Ocean Dialogue 2015 -Perth, Australia;
  • Meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association Academic Group (IORAG) in Jakarta, August 2015: "Developing a Research Programme for IORAG";
  • The Conference on the Political Economy of Indian Ocean Maritime Africa that was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in March 2014; and
  • The Journal of the Indian Ocean Region (Taylor and Francis), which is the flagship journal of IORG Inc, is also affiliated with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Academic Group.



Overall, IORG Inc seeks:

  • To encourage research on geopolitical, economic, socio-cultural, environmental, scientific and technological issues relevant to the Indian Ocean Region
  • To promote dialogue on the peaceful uses and ecologically sustainable development of maritime resources based on the principle of common heritage
  • To foster interstate cooperation in the sustainable management of ocean resources and the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes
  • To ensure a holistic discourse on the human and environmental security of the Region among its states, peoples and communities
  • To contribute to an understanding of the causes as well as the effects of a wide range of non-traditional Regional security threats
  • To facilitate information flow and discussion on international maritime regimes and the rights of states and local communities representing the Indian Ocean Region
  • To initiate informed policy debate among governments, NGOs, business groups, academics and other stakeholders in the Indian Ocean Region on issues of common concern


The Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA)


The IORA Council of Ministers, in its meeting held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 7 November 2019, adopted that the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) be granted Observer Status to IORA and welcomed the interest and participation of WIOMSA in the activities of the Association.


The Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) was established as a regional, non-profit, membership organization in 1993 and registered in Zanzibar, Tanzania in 1994 as a non-governmental organization. The organization is dedicated to promoting the educational, scientific and technological development of all aspects of marine sciences throughout the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region (consisting of 10 countries: Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, Réunion (France), with a view toward sustaining the use and conservation of its marine resources. WIOMSA has a particular interest in linking the knowledge that emerges from research to the management and governance issues that affect marine and coastal ecosystems in the region.