New Delhi, Oct 31: India would be handing over to Australia the chair of the 20-member Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) during a ministerial meeting at Perth on Friday.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is to attend the 13th Council of Ministers meeting of the IOR-ARC.
India has been the chair since 2011 for a two-year period.
The agenda includes change of name, engagement with UN specialized agencies, strengthening of the Secretariat, engagement with dialogue partners and consideration of university mobility in the Indian Ocean region, said a statement.A
At the conclusion of the discussions, it is understood, a Declaration of Perth Principles for Peaceful and Sustainable Use of the Indian Ocean and its Resources is likely to be issued in addition to a Communique about its discussions.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is hosting foreign ministers from around the Indian Ocean region in Perth for the annual IOR-ARC meetings Oct 30-Nov 1.
She said in Perth Wednesday that a “collaborative approach is the most effective way to combat the ongoing and persistent challenges facing the region including maritime security issues, climate change, sustainability and food security”.
The IOR-ARC activities include fisheries management, disaster risk reduction, tourism and academic, science and technology cooperation.