The HSRC’s Prof Narnia Bohler-Muller, along with Mr Selby Modiba from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), represented South Africa at a meeting of the senior officials of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) on the work done by the regional IORA Academic Group. The latter is also chaired by Prof Bohler-Muller.
South Africa, as the current IORA Chair, hosted the 18th IORA Council of (Foreign) Ministers Meetings (COM) on 2 November 2018 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province under the theme of “IORA – Uniting the Peoples of Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East through Enhanced Co-operation for Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development”. The Committee of Senior Officials met on 31 October and 1 November.
The Association serves as an economic cooperative community of littoral and island states whose shores are washed by the Indian Ocean. IORA was established through the vision of former South African President Nelson Mandela, when 14 Member States founded the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) in March 1997. This year’s meeting, marks his birth centenary and IORA Ministers adopted a special Declaration to pay tribute to this global icon. They commemorated his legacy and life, which resonate with the core principles of IORA, as enshrined in the Charter – “ a spirit of multilateralism in which the Association seeks to build and expand understanding and mutually beneficial co-operation through a consensus-based, evolutionary and non-intrusive approach”. IORA Ministers launched the ‘IORA Nelson Mandela ‘Be the Legacy’ internship programme’ as a contribution to empowering and capacitating the youth of the Indian Ocean region.