Foreign affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Ababu Namwamba, EGH is leading a Kenyan Delegation at 21st Council of Ministers of IORA in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an association which Kenya is a key member state. Established in 1997, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a dynamic inter-governmental organization aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 23 Member States and 9 Dialogue Partners.
Speaking on behalf of the Kenyan government CAS Ababu delivered Kenya’s Country Statement at the 21st Council of Ministers of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), highlighting Kenya’s Blue Economy vision and leadership role. In part of his address, CAS Ababu drew attention to challenges of maritime security and safety and restated Kenya’s rejection of the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Somalia maritime boundary case.
IORA has evolved and is taking on more significance in today’s world politics, as the third largest ocean woven together by trade routes, the Indian ocean commands control of major sea-lanes carrying half of the world’s container ships, one third of the world’s bulk cargo traffic and two thirds of the world’s oil shipments, the Indian Ocean remains an important lifeline to international trade and transport.
On the sidelines of the IORA meeting, the Foreign CAS had tête-à-tête with Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister at the office of Prime Minister H.E Sheikh Hasina Wazed, who played host to the leaders of delegations to the 21st Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association and later on held bilateral talks with Dr. Momen.
According to the organization’s website, IORA’s apex body is the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) which meets annually. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) assumed the role of Chair since November 2019 – November 2021, followed by the People’s Republic of Bangladesh November 2021