The Leaders’ Summit in Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) concluded on 7 March 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. In the summit, India was represented by the Vice President Hamid Ansari. It was held with the theme – Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean. In a historic first, the summit brought together the leaders of the 21 IORA Member States, including India, and its 7 Dialogue Partners as well as other special invitees including Myanmar.
Member States issued the Jakarta Concord, which sets out a vision for a revitalized and sustainable regional architecture. The summit is considered as a game-changer for regional cooperation and a demonstration of Member States and Dialogue Partners commitment to the Indian Ocean region.
The convening of the summit is a strategic and progressive step by IORA leaders to realise an IORA that is able to move faster and able to deal with future challenges. The current summit is also a milestone in the renewal of commitment by IORA countries to intensify IORA cooperation. The Leaders’ Summit was preceded by the Council of Ministers’ meeting on 6 March 2017. The meeting released the first IORA Action Plan, which sets out IORA’s short-, medium- and long-term flagship initiatives for 2017-2021.