Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Secretary General Dr Nomvuyo N Nokwe said the organization has been promoting peace in the Indian Ocean region for equal growth of all its member countries.
She said the IORA member states have reached a consensus on not getting involved in any controversial issues.
“The IORA promotes peace. We can have peace without fighting and we have come to a consensus on it with fellow neighbours,” said the IORA secretary general.
Dr Nomvuyo N Nokwe came up with the while replying to a question as to how the IORA can maintain peace when a number of countries are fighting to establish their influence over Indian Ocean.
She was speaking at a press briefing after the conclusion of 3rd IROA Conference in Dhaka on Thursday (September 5, 2019).
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the conference titled “Promoting Sustainable Blue Economy-making the best use of opportunities from the Indian Ocean”.
Explaining the spirit of the organization, Dr Nomvuyo N Nokwe said the IORA firmly believes in Nelson Mandela’s philosophy, which he had been able to establish in South Africa.
“Peacebuilding in the Indian Ocean region ensures that people within the region grow together. Within the Indian Ocean region, we are all diverse, we are at different levels of growth and we have most least developed country and the rich and middle income countries. But we have due respect for one another,” she told journalists.
No matter how small a country is, it is entitled to have the same rights like any powerful country, said Dr Nomvuyo N Nokwe.
About the contentious issues, she said there can be bilateral meetings on those issues and the related parties can discuss the matters with one another. “But we don’t entertain aggression or anything controversial,” she added.