Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says a resilient and sustainable economy requires cooperation at all sub-regional, regional and international levels, and the IORA provides its member states with a great opportunity to enhance their economic ties.
“Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) provides us with a unique opportunity and robust framework to further strengthen our economic ties,” Iran’s top diplomat said in an address to the 1st Summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association on Tuesday in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Here is the full text of his remarks:
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Mr. Chairman; Distinguished Heads of State and Government;
Mr. Secretary General; Excellencies; Ladies and Gentlemen;
Allow me at the outset to express my gratitude to the Government and people of Indonesia for the generous hospitality and excellent arrangements for the “First Leaders’ Summit of the Indian Ocean Rim Association” commemorating the 20th anniversary of IORA establishment, and to convey to you the warmest greetings and good wishes of President Rouhani.
During the last two decades, IORA has evolved from a visionary idea to a multi-dimensional engagement framework for cooperation. As envisaged in the IORA Charter, this regional engagement framework is in place to promote the sustained economic growth and sustainable development of the countries and the region, focusing mainly on 6 priority areas and 2 cross-cutting issues. The “IORA Action Plan 2017-2021” as well as the “Jakarta Concord” underline their continued relevance and priority and chart our way forward.
Since the establishment of IORA, the prevailing “development paradigm” of the 1990s, mainly shaped by the outcomes of the UN major conferences, has evolved in the contexts of millennium development goals, post-2020 development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals. In the last two years, a number of UN-sponsored processes culminated in new global arrangements developed by the Paris Agreement on climate change, Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, and Sendai Framework on disaster risk reduction. It is important that IORA sketches its programs and projects in a way that not only meet the needs and aspirations of the Member States, but also contribute to the implementation of these global priorities.
The theme of this Summit highlights a great opportunity for cooperation and progress. Iran has much to offer in terms of enhanced maritime connectivity through multi-modal connection of IORA region with other regional and global markets. The Iranian port of Chabahar is strategically located to provide connectivity between the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, West Asia, Central Asia, the caucuses, and Europe, as a safe and short route connecting east-to-west and north-to-south. The First IORA Meeting of the Free Zone Authorities, held in Chabahar in May 2006, concluded with consensus on establishing a mechanism for cooperation and introducing the relevant national focal points, which will contribute to the development and expansion of connectivity, trade and investment in the region and beyond.
I would also like to emphasize the importance of the maritime safety and security as one of the priority areas identified in IORA basic documents. As maritime supply chain and shipping continue to afford nearly 80% of world trade, it is important that IORA in its implementing frameworks gives special attention to improving the safety and security as well as to preventing maritime pollution. The surge in piracy incidents since 2008 in Western Indian Ocean waters still interrupts maritime commercial flows and disturbs fisheries in the region. Iran is actively involved in fighting against piracy in the international waterways and we believe concerted national, regional and international measures are imperative to eliminate this menace.
Our region is also increasingly plagued by extremist violence and terrorism. We therefore fully support the initiative of our Indonesian hosts to adopt a Declaration on Countering Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism. This declaration furthers the objectives of President Rouhani’s initiative, “World against Violence and Extremism” which was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013.
Globalization has created both challenges and opportunities. A resilient and sustainable economy requires cooperation at all sub-regional, regional and international levels. IORA provides us with a unique opportunity and robust framework to further strengthen our economic ties. The comprehensive and time-bound Action Plan developed to achieve the objectives of IORA would require our political will and collective action. I wish to assure you of Iran’s unreserved commitment in this endeavour.
I thank you for your attention.