During the IORA Leaders’ Summit in Indonesia on the 7th March 2017, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak offered the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA) as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for training and exchange of expertise on maritime related issues for IORA member states. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo officiated the Summit which was attended by leaders of the Indian Ocean rim in conjunction with IORA’s 20th anniversary. The theme of the Summit was Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak with leaders of The Indian Ocean Rim
At the Summit, IORA leaders adopted the Jakarta Concord, the Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism and the IORA Action Plan. The Jakarta Concord reflects the leaders’ commitment to the six priority areas and two cross-cutting issues on the blue economy and the empowerment of women. The declaration reaffirms their cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism. The IORA Action Plan schedules the association’s activities from 2017 to 2021.
Prior to the IORA Leaders’ Summit, the IORA documents were discussed in the Committee of Senior Officials Meeting and adopted by the Council of Ministers’ Meeting where Malaysia was represented by her Foreign Minister. Malaysia’s delegation also included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Secretary General Dato’ Ho May Yong, Ambassador Zainal Abidin Bakar, Mr Najib Mohd Razali and MIMA researcher Cdr Ang Chin Hup (R).
MIMA researcher Cdr Ang Chin Hup (R), (2nd from right) with Members of Malaysia’s Delegation to The IORA Leaders’ Summit
As a research institute on maritime affairs, MIMA is honoured to be proposed as a CoE for countries in the Indian Ocean rim. MIMA expresses its appreciation to the government for its confidence and support for the institute to become a regional CoE for maritime research, consultancy, and training towards enhancing Malaysia’s maritime standing in the region.