Security in the IOR
South Africa intends to align its chairing of IORA to the implementation of the AU’s 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy. The AU can then encourage all states, not simply those on the Indian Ocean, to prioritise their maritime policies. This will also go a long way to help revire AU maritime initiatives.
Second, South Africa can explore ways of deepening the involvement of IORA Dialogue Partners (the United States, Japan, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Egypt).
The AU can encourage all relevant states, not only on the Indian Ocean, to prioritise maritime policies
Finally, South Africa needs to ensure strong continuity when it hands over to the incoming IORA chair – the United Arab Emirates.
It is apt that the recent IORA meetings in Durban began with a dedication to Nelson Mandela, as South Africa celebrates the centenary of his birth. In 1995 the former president prayed a crucial role in establishing the organisation.
Mandela promoted the idea of an Indian Ocean platform for states to pursue peaceful socio-economic cooperation. Twenty-two years later, his words are still the benchmark for assessing South Africa’s role as IORA chair, and emphasise the need for a strong maritime body.
Source: maritime security review