Dhaka July 28 2022 :
The IORA Chair, Bangladesh hosted IORA Development Agency-Dhaka Development Initiative (IORDA-DDI) workshop in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany today in Cox’s Bazar. Thirty-two (32) delegates from seventeen (17) Member States of IORA and IORA Secretariat attended the workshop.
The workshop was divided into two sessions – panel and group discussions. In the panel discussion session Rear Admiral Md. Khurshed Alam (Retd.), Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, who was also moderator of the panel discussion gave a Power Point Presentation on the concept of IORDA-DDI. H.E. Mr. Abdul Nasser AlShaali, Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs of UAE and IORA Past Chair and H.E. Dr. Salman Al Farisi, IORA Secretary General spoke at the panel discussion.
Thomas Krimmel, Project Director of IORA-GIZ project delivered a presentation on what should be the priority areas of the proposed IORA Development Agency and on the potential collaborations between IORA and Germany.
Mr. Rajib Tripura, Director of the IORA Secretariat shared the mechanisms on the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and ASEAN Development Fubd (ADF) in the workshop.
Two virtual presentations on the African Union Development Agency NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and on the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation (IBSA Fund) were delivered by Ms. Nyiko Khoza, Project Manager of the AUDA-NEPAD and Ms. Ires Tofalo, Chief Programme Support Unit, UN Office for South-South Cooperation respectively.
Moreover, two video messages were screened from H.E. Ms. Jennifer Morgan, the State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action, Federal Foreign Office of Germany and from H.E. Prof. Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large: BRICS and Asia and IORA Focal Point, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), South Africa. In her video message, H.E. Ms. Jennifer Morgan appreciated the initiative of Bangladesh as the IORA Chair and shared Germany’s commitment as Dialogue Partner to build partnerships in the common interest areas particularly on climate change.
In the group discussion the participants were divided into three groups for further discussion. The topics of the group discussion were institutionalization of IORDA-DDI (set up of management structure, location, personnel); on Sources of Fund and Financial Management and on the thematic focus of projects to be funded.
After the group discussion, each group presented their views, recommendations/suggestions in front of the Senior Officials.
Finally, the Member States of IORA agreed that the adoption of the workshop recommendations will be proposed to the upcoming 12th Bi-Annual committee of the Senior Officials meeting of IORA scheduled to start at tomorrow morning.
This is to mention that the 23 IORA Member States are diverse in terms of their priority, capacity, level of economic development, technological advancement, among others.
However, IORA doesn’t have an institutional mechanism to receive and manage funding for medium and large size projects in its Member States.
Therefore, Bangladesh, the current IORA Chair, has taken initiative to establish an IORA Development Agency to facilitate tangible national/regional level developmental projects to promote regional integration, economic and sustainable development in the region.