Vice President Hamid Ansari Monday embarked on a two-day visit to Indonesia to attend the summit of the 21-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Jakarta, where he is expected to lay emphasis on connectivity, open maritime trade and rights of navigation. He is also expected to pitch for cooperation among the think tanks of the member countries to evolve common strategies to meet the conventional and non-conventional threats. The theme of the Summit is ‘Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean’.
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At the meeting, a declaration on countering violent extremism is expected to be adopted along with the IORA Concord and an action plan. The Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism is an agreement of the IORA member states about the importance of countering terrorism.
The IORA Concord, also called Jakarta Concord, is a strategic document containing the vision and norms of the future of cooperation among the member countries with an aim of strengthening the regional architecture to face its challenges. The IORA Action Plan is a document containing the implementation actions of the Jakarta Concord. It also strengthens the implementation of priority areas and cross-sectoral commitments.
The association comprises India, Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It also has seven Dialogue Partners — the US, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.