Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Emanuela Del Re opened the Italy-IORA Roundtable which took place during the EXCO Rome event.

During the meeting, Amb. Anil Sooklal, IORA Focal Point in Pretoria, shared his insights on “IORA and the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace, development and cooperation”. IORA Director for Blue Economy, Gatot Gunawan, also intervened, together from Heads of Mission from a number of IORA member States. Italy also provided a special IORA Stand in the EXCO pavilion to raise awareness about the organization.

The roundtable brought together some of Italy’s major players in the world of blue economy: fisheries and aquaculture, shipping, energy and the environment, research, training and education. These public and private organisations are already successfully operating in the Mediterranean and beyond, and can offer a valuable contribution also in the IORA context.

The Director for Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luca Sabbatucci, underlined that Italy is also home to the FAO and to the main UN agencies tasked with food security, agriculture and sustainable development. Multilateral dialogue and “cooperation between regional cooperations” can also be a useful tool to consolidate joint initiatives and shared policies. In this process there is space for many actors, from Governments and public institutions, to private companies, trade associations and the civil society, working together to face global challenges.

This event is part of an increasing number of initiatives that we wish to undertake, to promote an increased awareness of IORA in Italy and the Mediterranean. 

In the future, we intend to continue developing our partnership with IORA on a very practical level, including through IORA Embassies in Rome, with a view to evaluate and seize together the vast opportunities open to companies and organisations in the Mediterranean and in the Indian Ocean rim.