Media Statement

05 March 2017

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to lead the South African delegation to the IORA Council of Ministers (COM) Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia, today, Sunday, 05 March 2017, where she is leading a South African government delegation to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) Meeting on Monday, 06 March 2017.

The Council of Ministers Meeting is preceded by the Committee of Senior Officials that are meeting today to prepare the outcome documents for the Ministers to endorse and adopt.

The purpose of the IORA Council of Ministers Meeting will be to prepare for the Business Forum and Leaders’ Summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association, to be held on 06-07 March 2017, which will be attended by H.E President Jacob Zuma, who is also scheduled to pay a State Visit to Indonesia on 08 March 2017, following the IORA Leaders’ Summit.

The Summit is significant in that it is the first such Summit for IORA, and will be convened under the theme: “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean” to commemorate 20 years of IORA’s existence.

The Council of Ministers will finalise and endorse the IORA Concord (political declaration) to be adopted by the IORA Leaders, as well as the IORA Concord’s Action Plan of implementation. A Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism will also be considered by the Council of Ministers for adoption at the Summit.

South Africa serves as the current Vice Chair of IORA, and is preparing to take over the Chair from Indonesia during the latter part of 2017 until 2019.

The Vice Chair forms part of the IORA Troika of Ministers (Australia, Indonesia and South Africa), which is consulted on important matters and decisions within the Association.

It is expected that the next IORA Council of Ministers Meeting will take place in Durban later this year, when South Africa assumes the Chair of IORA.

South Africa views IORA, comprising twenty-one (21) Member States and seven (7) Dialogue Partners, as the pre-eminent organisation linking Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australasia via the Indian Ocean. The Association represents an important region for global trade and economic development, which is growing in stature and prominence, with South Africa being one of the leading Member States.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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