Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged the IORA member states and dialogue partners to formulate and implement projects for economic cooperation relating to trade facilitation and liberalisation, promotion of foreign investment, scientific and technological exchanges and marine tourism.
"We have to keep in mind that we all have a stake in building a sustainable Blue Economy. Our actions will determine our future," he said adding that Bangladesh is always committed to aligning its development strides with IORA’s Concord and Plan of Action.
While addressing the 3rd Blue Economy Ministerial Conference here, Dr Momen also called for adopting the Dhaka Declaration in order to provide maximum opportunities to develop shared interests, wider networks and reap mutually beneficial results.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the conference as the chief guest.
Chair, Indian Ocean Rim Association, its secretary general, secretary general of International Seabed Authority, ministers and heads of delegations from member states, dialogue partners, ministers, MP and other dignitaries from the government of Bangladesh were present.
Dr Momen said the Blue economy Conference offered a unique opportunity to discuss practical ways to implement their shared aspirations and ensure a living healthy ocean for future generations.
"This is also an opportunity to forge greater cooperation in areas of marine fisheries, shipping, sea-bed exploration and renewable energy towards achieving a sustainable Blue Economy in the region," he said.
For developing countries like Bangladesh, the foreign minister said, skills and knowledge level is achievable only by innovation and research by collective and collaborative efforts.
He said universities, research institutions and other relevant think-tank organisations can work together in this aspect.
"Our success in sustainably managing ocean resources for boosting economic growth in this region, therefore, critically hinges on us working together and our partnership," Dr Momen said.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 85 percent of global fish stocks are “overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion”.
To promote sustainable and responsible fisheries management and development, IORA should adopt joint capacity building projects and information sharing on aquaculture to address food security and IUU fishing in the Indian Ocean region, said the foreign minister.
"IORA should also assume the central role to combat the scourge of maritime piracy, armed robbery, human trafficking by sea, illegal arms trafficking etc. It is only possible through a common understanding of maritime governance and its pragmatic application with orchestrated efforts," he added.