- Press Releases
ROK Joins Indian Ocean Rim Association as Dialogue Partner
1. The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), consisting of Asian and African coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean, held the 2018 meeting of the IORA Council of Ministers in Durban, the Republic of South Africa, on November 2, and finally approved the Republic of Korea’s accession to the Association as Dialogue Partner.
o As part of the ROK’s first activity as IORA’s Dialogue Partner, Foreign Ministry officials will attend the “IORA High Level Panel on Enhancing Maritime Cooperation for Inclusive Growth in Indian Ocean Region,” to be held in Bali, the Republic of Indonesia, from December 7 to 8. They will discuss maritime cooperation with IORA member states, and exchange views on the ROK government’s activities.
2. The ROK’s accession to IORA as Dialogue Partner, which came amid the growing geopolitical importance of the Indian Ocean region, is significant, as it will help the ROK participate in strategic communications in the region more actively, and significantly broaden its scope of activities in pursuing diplomatic diversification and the New Southern Policy.
o In particular, the ROK has maintained close relations with countries in the region in line with its position that peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean region are very important for diplomacy and security, trade, and marine transportation. Major countries, including the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and Japan, as well as most countries in the region are already participating in IORA.
3. To obtain approval for accession, since the ROK government officially notified IORA of its intention to join the Association in July this year, Foreign Ministry officials have visited the IORA Secretariat (Republic of Mauritius) and Chair (South Africa), and asked for support and cooperation. The ROK has also actively exerted diplomatic efforts, including creating favorable consensus among the member states through overseas diplomatic missions.
4. Utilizing the IORA platform in the mid- to long-term, the ROK government will increase communications with countries in the region at various levels; strengthen the foundation for pursuing the New Southern Policy and diplomatic diversification; and seek a range of cooperation projects in the areas of trade and investment, fisheries, development, maritime security, tourism, and cultural exchanges.
o In doing so, the ROK, making best of its economic growth experience and its status as a middle-power country in the region, will actively work to play bridging roles between advanced countries and less developed countries in IORA, and between South Asia and the Indian Ocean, and Northeast Asia and the Pacific.
* unofficial translation