Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation, is an international organization with 20 member states. It was first established as Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in Mauritius on March 1995 and formally launched on 6–7 March 1997 by the conclusion of a multilateral treaty known as the Charter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Co-operation.
In 2011, six priority areas of cooperation were identified for IOR-ARC. These include: Maritime Safety and Security, Trade and Investment Facilitation, Fisheries Management, Disaster Risk Management, Academic and Science & Technology Cooperation, and Tourism and Cultural Exchanges. 
|Full members||Date of accession|
|South Africa||March 1995|
|Sri Lanka||September 1996|
|United Arab Emirates||March 1999|
Seychelles joined in March 1999 but withdrew in July 2003. Seychelles re-joined in November 2011 as the 19th member
Countries with the status of dialogue partners are:
- Accepted as dialogue partner at the Special Council of Ministers meeting in Oman in January 2000.
The objectives of IOR-ARC are as follows:
- To promote sustainable growth and balanced development of the region and Member States
- To focus on those areas of economic cooperation which provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits
- To promote liberalisation, remove impediments and lower barriers towards a freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the Indian Ocean rim.
IOR-ARC members undertake projects for economic co-operation relating to trade facilitation and liberalization, promotion of foreign investment, scientific and technological exchanges, tourism, movement of natural persons and service providers on a non-discriminatory basis; and the development of infrastructure and human resources, poverty alleviation,promotion of maritime transport and related matters, cooperation in the fields of fisheries trade, research and management, aquaculture, education and training, energy, IT, health, protection of the environment, agriculture, disaster management. Projects are undertaken under the umbrella of 3 separate working groups. These are the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI), the Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum (IORBF), and the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG). The Association holds a Council of Ministers meeting once every two years. The working groups have business and academic representatives to ensure that different points of view and interests are fully reflected in IOR-ARC’s work program.
Forums and Institutions
- Council of Ministers (COM)
- Committee of Senior Officials (CSO)
- Indian Ocean Rim Business Forum (IORBF)
- Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG)
- Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI)
- IOR-ARC High Level Task Force
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
- Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
- Union for the Mediterranean
- 13th meeting of council of ministers of IOR-ARC was held on November 1 in Perth, Australia and its name was changed to IORA http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/putting-out-to-sea-a-new-vision/article5305845.ece
- See for a complete historical account of IOR-ARC's founding and evolution from 1997 until 2012 e.g. Michael, Arndt (2013). India's Foreign Policy and Regional Multilateralism (Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 113-144.