INDIAN OCEAN RIM ASSOCIATION FOR REGIONAL COOPERATION (IOR-ARC)
Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) is the only regional organization that connects countries along the Indian Ocean region. The organization is actuated by three pillars, namely academician, business, and government. The IOR-ARC members consist of countries bordering to the Indian Ocean. The organization was declared in Mauritius in March 1997.
Indonesia becomes a member of the IOR-ARC alongside 17 other countries which include Australia, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. IOR-ARC partner of speech consists of China, Egypt, France, Japan, and U.K., whereas the Indian Ocean Tourism Organization assumes the status of an observer.
The IOR-ARC aims to facilitate trade and investment in the region. Cooperation within this framework is developed through three main channels:
a. The academician through the IOR-Academic Group (IORAG) forum,
b. The businesspeople through the IOR-Business Forum (IOR-BF), and
c. Trade and investment activities through the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI).
Each of the working group has its own business and academic representatives who ensure that the various points of different views and interests are fully reflected in the IOR-ARC work program. Mechanism of cooperation institutions is implemented through the meeting of Council of Ministers (COM) and Committee of Senior Officials (CSO). The meeting of COM and CSO are held once a year.
The Role of Indonesia in IOR-ARC
Indonesia has been a quite active member in the IOR-ARC. Since the 8th Meeting of Council of Ministers (COM) in Tehran in May 2008, Indonesia has been directly engaged in a number of IOR-ARC projects, such as proposing to hold training on Micro-Finance, offering the Cooperation of Developing Countries Scholarship Program and Fellowship Program as a Non-Degree program. In addition, Indonesia also had the opportunity to do sharing of knowledge concerning strategic actions in dealing with the avian influenza in its homeland.
Throughout 2010, Indonesia had been participating in several activities within the framework of IOC-ARC cooperation, as follow:
- Iran Biotech 2010 on 13-15 April 2010 in Iran, Indonesia was represented by Singgih Wibowo from the B2R2KP of the Ministry of Maritime Affair and Fisheries.
- Specialized Training Course for Foreign Diplomats of IOR-ARC Member States on 28 April-11 May 2010.
- Regional Experts Meeting on Herbal Medicine Processing IOR-ARC in Tehran on 19-21 May 2010, Indonesia was represented by a representative of PT. Martina Berto. The Indian Ocean Rim Traditional Medicine Network (IORTMNET) will be established as a follow-up of the meeting, and India has been willing to host the next meeting in 2012.
Moreover, Indonesia has also been actively involved in several Sub-Committees that discuss specific issues, such as:
- Member of Governing Committee for Special Fund since 2008 – 2010.
- Member of Sub-Committee for discussion on the restructuring of Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG) which was initiated by Oman.
- Members of Sub-Committee for discussion on amendment to the statute of University Mobility in Indian Ocean Region (UMIOR).
Results of the 10th Meeting of IOR-ARC COM Year 2010 and Development post the 10th COM Meeting
1. Experts Meeting Maritime Transport Council in Durban on 27-28 May 2010 has resulted in the final draft proposal for the establishment of MTC which would be adopted at the 10th COM meeting in Sana’a in August 2010.
2. The Ministerial Meeting of IOR-ARC in 2010 was held in Sana’a, 31 July- 5 August 2010. The meeting adopted revision of the IOR-ARC 1997 charter alongside 3 (three) other additional rules. It also adopted the final draft proposal for the establishment of Maritime Transport Council and Fisheries Support Unit.
3. The 10th COM meeting in Sana’a on 5 August 2010 also agreed to establish 2 (two) sub-committees that will discuss the revitalization of the IORAG work program and amendment to the statute of University Mobility in Indian Ocean Region (UMIOR), one of the IOR-ARC subsidiary institutions under the IORAG.
4. Australia held the first Bi-Annual meeting of Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) on 30-31 March 2011. The meeting discussed the priority of cooperation sector, the Administrative Arrangement for Special fund as well as amended and approved the recommendation of the Sub Committee Meeting on Restructuring and Improving of IORAG.
Agenda of Activities in 2011
1. In the Bi-Annual meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials in Canberra on 30-31 March 2011, India announced that the next series of IOR-ARC meetings were scheduled in New Delhi on 8-13 September 2011.
2. Regional Centre for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT) as an IOR-ARC subsidiary institution in 2011 would organize several activities, as follow:
- Specialised Workshop on Trade in Services and Dispute Settlement Services in Tehran, January 2011.
- Third Fajr Exhibition in Tehran, March 2011.
- ICT and Community E-Centres Development for Poverty Reduction and Business Service Promotion among the OIC countries and the IOR-ARC Region in Tehran, 14-16 March 2011.
3. Fisheries Support Unit located in Oman organized the Workshop on Biology and Fisheries Stock Assessment on 16-19 January 2011.
4. The 11th meeting of IOR-ARC COM will be held in September 2011 in India.