Media Statement

10 October 2014

Deputy Minister Mfeketo concludes her Working Visit to Perth, Australia

The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Nomaindiya Mfeketo, has today successfully concluded her working visit to Perth, Australia.

During the working visit, South Africa had been officially confirmed as the next Vice Chair for the period 2015-2017 and Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) following Indonesia in 2017-2019.

South Africa will build on the legacy of India, Australia and Indonesia as preceding Chairs, when it assumes the Chairship.

Such a responsibility is apt as it complements Operation Phakisa’s focus on unleashing the economic potential of the Ocean Economy.

South Africa remains mindful that the changing geopolitical and natural environment of the past seventeen years has launched the Indian Ocean Region back into the prominent position it held a few centuries ago.

To this end, a frank assessment at the Council Meeting has led the IORA to also reflect on the present and emerging challenges that we face.

Continued engagement with Dialogue Partners will serve to revive and refresh our relationship, while collaborating more closely with each other within IORA and with international partners like the African Union (AU), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), and the United Nations (UN), will move us closer to achieving the objectives of the Association.

To this end, South Africa is pleased by the work done by IORA Secretary-General KV Bhagirath, under the guidance of the Chair, in seeking avenues of engagement with these groupings.

During her speech, Deputy Minister Mfeketo thanked on behalf of the Government of South Africa, the Government of Australia for its dedication and leadership of IORA during its Chairship.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974


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