Media Statement

06 November 2019

Minister Pandor to attend the 19th IORA Council of Ministers Meeting and hand over SA’s report as Chair of IORA

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will officially hand over the role of Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to her United Arab Emirates counterpart, Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the 19th IORA Council of Ministers Meeting on 07 November 2019 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Minister Pandor will also use the opportunity to present the AUE Minister and Incoming Chair of the IORA with a copy of the “Handing Over Report.”
The report outlines the progress that South Africa has made as Chair of IORA, particularly in the areas identified as priorities, which include, enhancing trade and investment, maximizing opportunities in line with South Africa's Operation Phakisa, advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality and establishing the Core Group on Tourism.

The 19th IORA Council of Ministers Meeting will be held under the theme: “Promoting a Shared Destiny and Path to Prosperity in the Indian Ocean.”

South Africa assumed the role of Chair of the 22-member intergovernmental organisation (IORA) in October 2017, guided by the Cabinet-approved overarching theme: “IORA – Uniting the Peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East through Enhanced Co-operation for Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development”.

IORA is an economic cooperative community of countries bordering the Indian Ocean. 

It was established through the vision of former President Nelson Mandela when 14 Member States founded the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC) in March 1997. During Australia’s Chair (2013 – 2015), the Association changed its name from the IOR-ARC to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), signifying the renewed vigour in the work of the Association.

South Africa will remain part of the IORA Troika for the next two years, which will be constituted as follows: UAE (Chair), Bangladesh (Vice-Chair) and South Africa (Past-Chair).

Enquiries: Lunga Ngqengelele, MLO to the Minister, 082 566 0446


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460 Soutpansberg Road



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