Myanmar has been denied membership of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) amid its nonfulfillment of commitment over the Rohingya repatriation.
Myanmar again applied for the IORA membership this year and some of the Southeast Asian countries supported its application.
However, Bangladesh opposed the membership application at the 21st IORA Council of Senior Officials’ (CSO) meeting held in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates on November 5-6.
Bangladesh stated that the ground reality of Myanmar’s non-cooperation and lack of commitment to repatriate Rohingyas have not changed since the last meeting, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Thursday.
Bangladesh also stated that Myanmar has failed to demonstrate its willingness to be a responsible state and it lacks respect for international norms and rules.
Since, as per Article 2(c) under the Fundamental Principles of the IORA Charter, decisions on all matters and issues, at all levels, will be taken on basis of consensus, Myanmar’s membership application has been declined and deferred due to opposition from Bangladesh.
Based on consensus, Italy was accepted as a Dialogue Partner at the CSO.
Bangladesh also presented the report on the Third IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference which took place in Dhaka on September 4-5 last.
Bangladesh thanked all the Member States and Dialogue Partners for wholeheartedly participating in the conference.
The CSO thanked Bangladesh for successful arrangement of the Conference on Blue Economy and reiterated their commitment to hold Dhaka Declaration at the centre of the Blue Economy development in the Indian Ocean region.
The CSO meeting was followed by the 19th Council of Ministers’ Meeting (COMM) held on Thursday.
Delegations from 22 Member States of IORA and 9 Dialogue Partners participated in the CSO meeting.
A delegation from Bangladesh Foreign Ministry participated in the CSO meeting.
During the CSO meeting, Vice-chairmanship for the tenure of October 2019-October 2021 was officially handed over to Bangladesh.
Subsequently, Bangladesh will assume the charge of the Chair from October 1, 2021 for two years tenure.
The UAE officially assumed the charge of Chair for tenure of October 19-October 2021.
Besides, in the IORA 21st meeting of CSO, many important issues were discussed, and some important decisions were taken.