France takes the presidency of the Indian Ocean Commission (20 april 2021)

France takes for one year the presidency of the Indian Ocean Commission, on the occasion of the Council of Ministers, on 20 April 2021.

For more than 30 years, France has been a member of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), alongside the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles.

The IOC is an international organization with a French-speaking, island identity. Its five Member States share the same ambition to galvanize the organization. This ambition was illustrated in 2020 with the review of the founding Victoria Agreement in order to equip the IOC with the means to carry out collective action and give a statutory role to the Summit of Heads of State and Government.

What are the IOC’s objectives and missions?

The action of the Indian Ocean Commission is spread across several strategic focuses:

  • Stability and security, especially in the maritime area;
  • The economic integration of the island States of the Commission, by promoting the blue economy, a label for the ethical and sustainable use of the sea;
  • The preservation of the environment and management of climate and environmental risks;
  • Public health cooperation, beyond the current public health crisis, particularly concerning public health challenges;
  • Scientific and academic cooperation.

Concrete projects are carried out according to these strategic focuses. They mobilize financial partners as varied as the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the European Union (EU), the Green Climate Fund and the World Bank.

Why is France a member of the Indian Ocean Commission?

French participation is driven by the desire for La Réunion to fully contribute to regional cooperation within the IOC. La Réunion is linked to the countries in the region through its rich history, economic and commercial exchanges and human interactions.

The statutes of the IOC allow regional entities to apply for membership. On 10 January 1986, France became a fully-fledged member of the Commission because of La Réunion.

Since its accession and the first French presidency of the IOC between October 1992 and December 1993, France has furthered its activities within this organization.

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published on 14/05/2021

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