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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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IOC: 40 Years That 3 Islands Have United Around The Same Desire For Solidarity And Cooperation

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It is now 40 years since 3 islands joined together around the same will of solidarity and cooperation. The Port-Louis declaration marks a real turning point in the history of the Indian Ocean zone.

The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) is an intergovernmental organization made up of 5 member states: the Union of Comoros, France on behalf of Reunion Island, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles. Created by the Port Louis Declaration in 1982, the IOC was institutionalized in the Seychelles in 1984 by the General Cooperation Agreement, better known as the “Victoria Agreement”. Gaining in attractiveness and diplomatic stature, the IOC welcomes, since 2016, observer members, including China, Japan, India, the United Nations, the European Union, the International Organization of la Francophonie, the Sovereign Order of Malta. Its objective is to defend the specificities of its member states on the continental and international scenes. With the active support of a dozen international partners, the IOC gives substance to regional solidarity through cooperation projects covering the 17 sustainable development goals.

In 40 years, the IOC has translated into action the wishes expressed in the Port Louis Declaration. It has established itself as a key player in the regional landscape and as the natural voice of the African islands, beyond its member states, it will continue to be the primary tool of an active solidarity. It will always remain the institutional expression of a shared indiano-ceania, vulnerable by nature but ambitious by choice.

Vêlayoudom Marimoutou
Mr. Vêlayoudom Marimoutou, Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission

From a “light structure”, it has become a reference intergovernmental organization that has managed more than 70 cooperation projects since 1987 for a total of more than 420 million €!  In addition, it benefits from the active support of a dozen international partners. The European Union, its historical partner, is joined by the French Development Agency, the World Bank, the OIF, the United Nations Agencies or the African Development Bank and the French Global Environment Facility. It welcomes, since 2016, 7 observer members.

In 40 years, the IOC has developed a recognized expertise in the field of sustainable development. Coastal zone management, sustainable fisheries, weather and climate, but also health, maritime safety, agriculture or connectivity: these are all areas in which the IOC intervenes.

The Founding Fathers of the IOC are :

  • Mr. Jean Claude de l’Estrac, Mauritian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Emigration
  • Mr. Christian Rémi Richard, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar
  • Dr. Maxime Ferrari, Minister of Planning and Foreign Affairs of Seychelles
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